The first official report of Asian soybean rust in Mexico reveals that the disease was found at low incidence on soybeans in two east-central states in late October, 2005.

The report, "Detection of soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi) in the states of Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi, Mexico," was posted yesterday on the North American Plant Protection Organization's Phytosanitary Alert System Web site,

As translated into English this afternoon on the site, the report read:

Date posted: 02/16/2006
Contact: Dr. Jorge Hernandez Baeza. Director General, Plant Health. SAGARPA-SENASICA

"At the end of October 2005, soybean leaves of the variety 'Huasteca 400' were collected at harvest. The leaves had symptoms and signs of low-incidence soybean rust in Tamuin, State of San Luis Potosi, and in Altamira, State of Tamaulipas, both municipalities within the region called 'huasteca.'

"Samples collected were processed at the molecular mycology and biology laboratory of the National Phytosanitary Reference Centre, with positive results for soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi).

"The National Service for Agri-Food Health, Safety and Quality, through the Plant Health Directorate, has applied a plan to decrease damage and risk of spreading the soybean rust, through outreach activities aimed at monitoring, identifying and controlling the disease."

Tamaulipas is the northern-most Mexican state that borders the Gulf of Mexico, and San Luis Potosi borders Tamaulipas on the west/southwest.

In e-mail correspondence today among U.S. soybean rust specialists, University of Kentucky plant pathologist Don Hershman said it's still unknown whether soybean rust has overwintered and is still present in Mexico.

"Soybeans in that part of Mexico are harvested in November, and it is my understanding that kudzu is not very common there," Hershman said. "It is best to take a wait-and-see approach as efforts are made to get a better handle on what the SBR situation is in Mexico at this time."