Bootheel farmers should be checking their soybean fields closely to determine their response to the potential danger of soybean rust, says a University of Missouri Extension plant pathology professor.
Rust was identified in two fields, in Scott and Pemiscot counties, and ag scientists are actively surveying others, reports Allen Wrather, MU professor at the MU Delta Research Center in Portageville.
“Our suggestion is that farmers check their soybean fields for soybean growth stage and yield potential,” Wrather says. “If the beans in the top part of the plant are fully developed, no action is needed. However, if the beans are still developing and yield is expected to be 40 bushels per acre or greater, the field should be sprayed with a fungicide for rust management.”
If the spread of soybean rust had occurred four weeks earlier, many of the fields would be at risk, he notes, but farmers have fewer reasons to worry this late in the growing season. “Most soybeans in the southern parts of Missouri have already reached the point where soybean rust is not a threat,” Wrather says.
For soybean fungicide information, check the MU Delta Center’s guide online at http://aes.missouri.edu/delta/muguide/foliarfungicides.stm.