Texas officials reported last night that Asian soybean rust has been detected on kudzu near Dayton in Liberty County in eastern Texas.

This is the first rust found in the state since rust was confirmed on late-planted soybeans harvested Feb. 14 in Hidalgo County.

There are now 34 U.S. counties in five states that have had soybean rust confirmed in 2006. Rust was found on kudzu in Liberty County, also near Dayton, on Nov. 10, 2005 -- the first soybean rust ever in Texas. There is no word yet on how close the new find is to the infected 2005 patch.

In Sunday's commentary on www.sbrusa.net, Texas officials said:

"Soybean rust has been detected at low levels in kudzu near Dayton (Liberty County). No rust seen in nearby soybeans or in kudzu to the north. There have been scattered thundershowers during the past week, but hot, dry weather will not support development of an epidemic in the next few weeks.

"Commercial soybeans and sentinel plots in southern Texas are approaching maturity or are being harvested. Group V soybeans in Liberty County are at R7 to R8, while Group VII soybeans are at R1 to R2.

"At this time, I am not recommending preventative applications of fungicides. We will monitor the progression of rust in Liberty County and work closely with the growers there to determine the appropriateness and timing of fungicide applications. Growers in other areas of the state should continue to monitor for rust.

"See soybeanrust.tamu.edu for more details." Tom Isakeit of Texas A&M is the state soybean rust coordinator for Texas.

SOURCE: Texas commentary on www.sbrusa.net.