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Asian soybean rust confirmed in south-central Georgia

Georgia officials report that Asian soybean rust (ASR) was confirmed today on leaves taken from Group IV soybeans growing in an industry research field near Chula in Tift County.

Tift becomes the 29th county in the U.S. with Asian soybean rust, and the sixth (and northernmost) in Georgia this year. The positive counties are Brooks, Decatur, Miller and Tift, with Grady and Thomas no longer red on the U.S. Department of Agriculture ASR observation map after infected plants were destroyed and no more rust found. It is the ninth U.S. county in five states with rust on this season's soybeans.

This is the first rust this year in Tift County, which had positive rust finds in three places last year, the earliest being samples pulled from a sentinel plot at Tifton on July 15, 2006.

"A small leaf sample was submitted to the University of Georgia diagnostic clinic, and rust was confirmed with dissection microscope," Georgia officials said on the USDA Asian soybean rust information website, www.sbrusa.net. "It is possible that the recent rain events could have moved spores from north Florida."

Georgia officials also updated their management recommendations on the USDA ASR site yesterday, saying "Although Asian soybean rust has been confirmed on kudzu in Miller and Brooks Counties and on soybean research plots in Brooks and Decatur Counties, it has really not spread much at all this year, likely due to hot and dry weather. Frequent storms and flowering-reproductive growth stages of our commercial crop could easily rekindle this disease across the state.

"Soybean producers in the SW corner of Georgia should be on high alert for soybean rust. The most conservative approach to managing this disease would be to make a fungicide application during the blooming growth stage and follow with a second 14 to 28 days later if conditions favor disease spread.

"Many growers may also choose to wait to apply the fungicide application until we are able to document rust spreading in our sentinel plots and research plots. For example, though rust was found on soybean plants in Attapulgus, Decatur County (1 leaf of 100) on July 3, we have not found the rust again on July 10, 17, 24, or 31," Georgia officials added. "We have also not found rust in sentinel plots in Moultrie or elsewhere...Many soybeans will be approaching the R3-pod formation growth stage soon."

University of Georgia plant pathologist Bob Kemerait added "Growers may wish to mix a fungicide, for example chlorothalonil or fungicides, with dimilin or boron applications to increase disease control (e.g. frogeye leaf spot) as well."

Georgia officials report that Asian soybean rust (ASR) was confirmed today on leaves taken from Group IV soybeans growing in an industry research field near Chula in Tift County.

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