Asian soybean rust has been found near the border of Jefferson County and Adams County in south Mississippi.

“It’s a small amount, but it’s ASR,” said Billy Moore, Mississippi Extension plant pathologist on Tuesday (Aug. 1). “We found it south of Church Hill late this afternoon. The beans are at about R-5.”

The ASR is very light and early in its development. Moore’s ASR team “had walkie-talkies out in the field and we hadn’t found anything. I said, ‘Turn around and go back toward the shade where those trees are. That’s where it was.”

The Mid-South’s first ASR find of the year -- in south Louisiana kudzu – was also found near trees.

“We’ve also found it between Hwy. 61 and Alcorn State. There’s a four-lane road through there and there’s a bunch of kudzu on both sides.”

Several of the scout crew found rust on the kudzu.

“Again, it’s very light. But it shows we have this pathogen in southwest Mississippi.”

Moore does not believe the ASR is a problem for the state’s soybean crop.

“Unless it’s in kudzu patches with a virulent outbreak that we’ve missed – and we haven’t seen anything to indicate that – most farmers are in good shape. Even if this is a problem, it’ll take two or three weeks to build to a level where it’s a threat.”

Along with other Extension colleagues, Moore plans to meet with Alan Blaine, Mississippi Extension soybean specialist, on Tuesday evening.

“We’ll discuss this and come to an agreement on what’s best to suggest to farmers. But what I’ve seen isn’t a concern. Our dryland production is already being harvested. And most irrigated beans are at an advanced enough growth stage to be safe.

“In the northern part of the state, it’s been extremely hot and dry. The solar radiation has been intense and ASR can’t survive in those conditions. This find is certainly no threat to north Mississippi.

“Now, there are some late-planted soybeans in southwest Mississippi. For those young beans at bloom to R-4, yes, a fungicide is probably warranted. Farmers may want to apply a triazole or a strobilurin plus a triazole. At this point, outside of southwest Mississippi, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

e-mail: dbennett@farmpress.com