September 9, 2008 at 2:47 PM CDT - Updated July 3 at 2:41 PM
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Agriculture officials have confirmed soybean rust in three southeast Arkansas counties and are working to determine how far the fungal disease has spread.
The rust has been found in Ashley, Desha and Drew counties. The disease causes premature leaf loss and can be treated with fungicides.
Extension service soybean agronomist Jeremy Ross says the agency is trying to find out how far the disease has spread.
Ross says he does not anticipate widespread crop losses. The Arkansas soybean crop is worth close to 1 billion dollars, second only to rice in value and first in acreage, with 3.15 million acres planted.
Soybean rust thrives in cloudy, wet weather. Its spores are killed by ultraviolet light.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)