OCTOBER 20, 2006 - Posted at 3:01 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR - Farm experts say a type of fungus called Asian soybean rust has been detected in 13 counties in Arkansas, but they don't expect the disease to cause serious damage.
Cliff Coker, a plant pathologist, says the growing season is in the late stages so economic loss is unlikely. The first evidence of soybean rust was discovered last weekend in Ashley and Chicot counties. Since then the disease has surfaced in eleven other counties, including Lawrence and St. Francis counties in Region 8.
Soybeans are Arkansas number one row-crop in terms of acreage and the number two row-crop in terms of value, second only to rice. The crop last year was worth $592 million.