Kudzu is alive and green in inner-city Montgomery, Ala., and four of six patches observed Wednesday were infected with soybean rust, according to Alabama state commentary.

Montgomery County was the site of the first discovery of Asian soybean rust in the United States this year on Jan. 12. Rust was found in two more Alabama counties, Baldwin and Mobile, on Feb. 15.

Ed Sikora, Auburn University professor and Extension plant pathologist, said in the state commentary that three small kudzu patches with green tissue were observed in the city of Montgomery Wednesday, as scouts checked on how kudzu fared through recent cold weather. Each of the new patches found was located near the south-southeast side of a building.

Two of the three patches also had old growth that was infected with soybean rust, Sikora said. The third patch had new (2006) growth, but did not show symptoms of the disease.

Three other kudzu patches that had first been observed in the city in mid-January were also scouted, and each still retained green tissue. Two of these patches were infected with rust (which was reported in January) and showed signs of new growth, although this tissue showed signs of die-back due to a recent frost. The third patch had new growth, but still had no symptoms of soybean rust.

Five of these six patches are within a one-square-mile section of the inner city of Montgomery.

SOURCE: www.StopSoybeanRust.com.