Asian soybean rust was reported found in three more southeastern U.S. counties the last two days, as soybean pathologists continue to scout the region for the disease on kudzu.

Yesterday, Bob Kemerait of the University of Georgia found rust growing on young and old kudzu tissue living around an abandoned house in downtown Colquitt, Ga., in Miller County. This is the first find in that county this year, and the northern-most find in the state so far this year.

Miller County is located in the southwest corner of the state just north of Seminole County. Kemerait said urban areas, particularly areas protected from the weather, still seem to be where soybean rust is able to survive.

Wednesday, Alabama officials reported that on Feb. 28, soybean rust was detected on kudzu in Abbeville in Henry County and in Dothan in Houston County. Both are in the southeastern corner of the state.

The kudzu in Abbeville was found growing on a wall of a gas station. Rust was observed on old-growth leaves which were removed. There were new kudzu shoots (3 inches long) emerging from the vine that had no visible symptoms of rust.

The kudzu in Dothan was growing in a tree next to a bridge over railroad tracks in the downtown area. Rust was observed on old-growth leaves. The kudzu had some new growth (up to 1 foot in length), but no symptoms of rust were visible on the young tissue.

Auburn University's Ed Sikora said he also surveyed kudzu in Auburn (Lee Co.), Pittsview (Russell Co.) and Eufaula (Barbour Co.) in Alabama, but no green tissue was observed.

Rust has now been detected in 10 kudzu sites in five counties in Alabama. Five of the 10 sites are located in the city of Montgomery.

As of this morning, the confirmed reports of U.S. counties with rust on kudzu in 2006 include five in Alabama, 11 in Florida and four in Georgia. Hidalgo County, Texas, is the lone county with soybean rust found on soybeans to date. U.S. total stands at 21 counties in the four states.

SOURCE: based on information from