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Watch weather for Midwestern Asian rust outbreaks this summer

The discovery of Asian soybean rust in Louisiana last week indicates this disease could move further north this summer.

Greg Shaner, Purdue University Extension plant pathologist, notes the rust discovery in Louisiana is 53 days earlier than the first detection of rust in that state last year. Although Florida, Georgia, and Alabama remain dry, Louisiana has had heavy rains this month, and scattered showers are predicted during the coming week. The weather appears ideal for rust development.

Late last October, rust appeared in Indiana. The spores that gave rise to these infections most likely came from Louisiana, carried by southerly winds over a two- to three-day period in late September.

The fact that rust is now present in the Mississippi Delta means a storm system moving up the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys this summer could bring spores to Indiana in time to cause damaging disease to soybeans, Shaner says Purdue specialists will continue to monitor rust development in the Delta region and watch for weather patterns that could bring spores north. They will regularly scout sentinel plots for Asian soybean rust.

The discovery of Asian soybean rust in Louisiana last week indicates this disease could move further north this summer.

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