Extension plant pathologist and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station scientist Tom Allen said he is seeing increasing evidence of foliar diseases in soybeans.

“Frogeye leaf spot is one of the hottest topics in soybeans right now,” Allen said. “I’m seeing a lot more of it this year. In the past three years, I’ve sent a total of five samples to a lab for fungicide resistance analysis, and this year I’ve already sent five samples with several more to send. So far, the strain of the fungus that is resistant to a certain class of fungicides hasn’t been found in Mississippi.”

This year has also been unique in that the earliest case of soybean rust in the state was discovered July 13.

“That is a rarity, and I was shocked,” Allen said. “Cooler temperatures with relatively high humidity and scattered showers are optimum for soybean rust development.”

In spite of these challenges, producers have reason to be optimistic.

“We account for about 2 to 3 percent of the national production,” said Extension agricultural economist John Michael Riley. “Although dryness in early June could have reduced the crop’s overall potential, Mississippi’s crop will still likely fare better than those in the Midwest.”

Riley said the Midwestern drought continues to take center stage.