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First Asian soybean rust found in N.C.; three more finds in Ga., La.

Asian soybean rust has been confirmed for the first time this year in North Carolina, in Columbus County on the border with South Carolina. The find joins two more in Georgia and another in Louisiana since Tuesday.

This raises the number of states with rust this year to eight, in 54 counties and parishes. Last year at this time, there was rust in 58 counties in only five states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. The additional states with rust at this point in 2006 are Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas.

Georgia also reported rust in Cook County today and in Sumter County on Tuesday, the same day Louisiana reported rust in commercial field in Washington Parish.

According to the N.C. state commentary on www.sbrusa.net, "Asiatic soybean rust was identified on soybean samples collected from a mobile sentinel plot on 13 September, 2006. A few pustules were found on several leaves.

"The soybean leaves were collected from near Tabor City in Columbus County. Columbus County borders on South Carolina and is about 50 miles from Myrtle Beach, S.C.

A report from North Carolina on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's soybean rust monitoring site, www.sbrusa.net, indicated 91% of the soybean crop in the state has set pods, "thus about 85% to 95% of the crop is no longer at risk.

"Soybean producers in the southern counties of North Carolina should be alert for rust moving any closer. If rust gets within 100 miles, and the soybeans do not yet have fairly good-sized seeds in the pods, we suggest spraying with a strobilurin fungicide," according to today's North Carolina rust commentary. "Assuming that some growers may not get into the field before mid-week after the rain, consider a combination of a strobilurin and a triazole (Headline SBR, Stratego, or Quilt) especially on late maturity (Group VII or VIII) and/or late-planted soybean.

"Soybeans that have full-sized soybeans in the pods (stage R6) before rust is identified in the field will probably mature before rust causes significant yield loss, and it is illegal to spray any of our fungicides that late in soybeans' development. As infrequently as rust affects soybeans that have not started blooming, we also would not spray soybeans that have not started blooming yet."

Asian soybean rust has been confirmed for the first time this year in North Carolina, in Columbus County on the border with South Carolina. The find joins two more in Georgia and another in Louisiana since Tuesday.

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