Following the discovery of Asian soybean rust in southern Alabama last week, Mid-South Extension specialists still caution producers against spraying fungicides unnecessarily.

“At this point, we’re not suggesting a blanket treatment for rust,” said David Lanclos, Louisiana Extension soybean specialist, on Monday. “If a farmer feels it’s necessary to add something to the tank for rust, fine. We don’t think it’s necessary but that’s not our call, ultimately.”

Lanclos said producers don’t need to forget diseases that are being seen. “Aerial blight, frogeye and other things are being picked up down here. These things are coming on slowly but surely.”

Some 60 percent of Louisiana’s soybeans are “around a week” from being out of danger from soybean rust. The remaining 40 percent of the crop – primarily in the southwest and south-central regions of the state – is still a month from outgrowing rust fears.

In Arkansas, the earliest planted beans are already out of danger, said Rick Cartwright, Extension plant pathologist. However, at least a third of the crop was planted in June or July and remains a concern.

??lre not out of the woods,” said Cartwright on Monday. “We’ve found no rust yet but that doesn’t mean we can relax our guard. As far as spraying recommendations for rust: nothing has changed. At this point, we still don’t see the need.”

“I continue to be impressed with producers’ calmness regarding this,” said Lanclos. “They’re educating themselves well because with low commodity prices no one wants to spend money frivolously.”

e-mail: dbennet@primediabusiness.com