LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Agriculture officials say soybean fields in a dozen Arkansas counties have confirmed cases of Asian soybean rust, a fungal disease that can damage crops.
The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says soybean rust was initially found in Ashley, Chicot, Drew and Desha counties. It was later confirmed in Lincoln and Jefferson counties and most recently in Phillips, Lee, Monroe, Prairie, Arkansas and Woodruff counties.
But officials say they don't expect a widespread outbreak of the disease because it arrived so late in the growing season.
The rust was initially brought into the state by high winds from tropical storms Fay and Gustav. Officials believe the rust spores came from an infested area in the Florida panhandle.
Officials say growers in south central and southeastern Arkansas should consider spraying a fungicide to fight the disease.
Soybean rust first appeared in Arkansas in November 2004, likely brought by Hurricane Ivan.