Soybean rust has been confirmed for the first time ever in seven counties in Arkansas, according to USDA rust e-mail alerts and the USDA site today. With another new county in Illinois last night (Hardin), that puts the U.S. total for positive counties at 156 in 14 states.

The rust-positive counties in Arkansas are: Ashley, Chicot, Desha, Jefferson, Lincoln, Lonoke and Prairie, stretching up in a line from the from southeast to the east-central part of the state.

At this writing, the commentary for Arkansas has not been updated to include the rust finds. Soybean rust was not detected in the state in 2004 or 2005.

In Illinois, Hardin County was turned red late last night, with no specific commentary that differed from that for the other six counties with rust. The county sits between Pope County, Ill., and Union County, Ky., both positive counties. Illinois now has seven counties positive.

SOURCE: Rust observation map on