Asian soybean rust was found Monday in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, and Bamberg County, South Carolina, bringing the U.S. total of rust-positive counties and parishes to an even 70.

Soybean rust has been confirmed in 50 counties on soybeans in eight states. Including rust on kudzu, there are 70 counties in the same eight states known to have rust in 2006: 16 in Louisiana and South Carolina; 13 in Florida; 11 in Georgia; five in Alabama; four in North Carolina; three in Texas; and two in Mississippi.

In Louisiana, the rust confirmed Monday morning was from soybean leaves collected near Opelousas in St. Landry Parish, which is in the south-central part of the state. It's the 16th parish to have rust this year.

In South Carolina, Monday afternoon's commentary said, "Today, rust was found in samples submitted by Joe Varn from the Maturity Group 5 sentinel plots in Bamberg County.

Only one out of 29 leaves had rust, and that leaf had only 2 very small, young pustules, officials said.

In addition, the S.C. commentary reported: "Bruce Johnson also submitted three samples last week from Horry County (already a positive county) which contained rust. The first field, which is located 1 mile south of the North Carolina state line on SC 410, was a commercial field heavily infested with rust. "The other two fields serve as Maturity Group 5 sentinel plots. Both had moderate levels of rust. One field is located on the Intercoastal Waterway 5 miles south of the North Carolina border. The other plot is located on SC 917 between Mullins and Loris.

"Counties sampled last week in which we could not find rust included: Berkeley, Greenville, Lexington, Newberry, and Williamsburg. We will continue to monitor these counties for rust.

"Scattered rains on Sunday and today should increase the spread of rust within fields. The bright sunny days forecast for the rest of this week should minimize the spread of rust between and within fields for the rest of this week," officials said.

In terms of treatment for rust, "Most of the soybeans in South Carolina are rapidly approaching R6. Therefore, the number of fungicide sprays this week for rust should be minimal. By next week, we should be done spraying for rust."

In its latest soybean rust forecast, USDA says "A risk increase is likely for Florida due to an onshore flow and scattered showers and thunderstorms. With weather conditions for the rest of the South remaining quiet, soybean rust spread is not likely."

SOURCE: Louisiana and South Carolina state commentaries, USDA soybean rust forecast on