Soybean Rust in Region 8

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JACKSON COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -As the rain continues here in Region 8, local farmers are falling further behind.

Now another problem for soybean farmers is starting to show up.

The soybean rust fungus has steadily moved into the area, the wet conditions are tailor made for this disease.

Randy Chlapecka the Staff Chairman for Extension in Jackson County described the stuff to me. "Rust is a fungus and basically fungus loves moist weather, they love high humidity they love rainfall moderate temperatures so this is an ideal environment for soybean rust."

To date the extension service has confirmed rust in 21 counties including Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Jackson, Lawrence, Poinsett, St. Francis and Woodruff.

The airborne fungus made it to Arkansas in 2004 taking about 3 years to make it to Jackson county.

Chlapecka, "In 2007 it was identified here in Jackson county and we had several producers spray their fields for soybean rust."

That year it wasn't wet enough so the fungus didn't spread.

But this year the fungus is actively moving and affecting the immature beans.

Randy says since the rust is in the area already the best thing you can do is take a look at the maturity of your bean pods.

Chlapecka, "If the most mature pod on those top 4 nodes is about half filled out or less then we would be concerned that rust could still impact yields."

So if you were forced to plant late and the pods are still immature they're vulnerable.

Chlapecka, "We're concerned about yield loss on so we're recommending those producers apply a fungicide to those beans if the weather will ever break where they can get a fungicide applied."

Chlapecka says in South America and other countries, losses have run as high as 80 percent.

But he feels it wouldn't be nearly that bad here. However, nothing can be done to treat the disease or stop its spread until it dries up.

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