Between 6 a.m. yesterday and noon today (10/24), 26 new counties in six states joined the list of those positive for soybean rust in the U.S., taking the national total to 205 positive counties and parishes in 15 states.

In contrast, on this date last year, there were 86 counties positive in five states: Alabama (26), Florida (23), Georgia (30), South Carolina (5) and Mississippi (2). The total for all of 2005 ended up at 138 positive counties and parishes in nine states.

The states with the biggest increases since yesterday morning are Tennessee, with nine new counties; Virginia with seven and Arkansas with five. North Carolina reported three more, while Illinois and Mississippi added one a piece.

Here's a state-by-state recap:

Tennessee: 12 total counties in 2006

From the state commentary on, a reverse chronology: "10/24/06 - 11 am - Two more counties determined to be positive for soybean rust: Haywood and Dyer.

"10/23/06 3:30 pm - In addition to the 6 counties determined to be positive this morning, Tipton County samples were also found to be positive for soybean rust.

"10/23/06- 10:30 a.m. - Sampling on Friday, Oct. 20, resulted in additional confirmations this morning in Crockett, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison and Stewart counties. These leaves were moist chambered over the weekend and confirmed under the dissection microscope at the Extension Entomology and Plant Pathology lab at the West TN Experiment Station in Jackson.

"Double-crop soybeans are mostly past the R7+ stage."

Virginia: Nine total counties, seven of those today

"Asian soybean rust was detected from samples collected on Oct. 17-19 from commercial fields in Virginia Beach, Southampton, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Sussex, Prince George and King & Queen counties. Soybean rust was confirmed by Dr. Pat Phipps via visual observation and with an ELISA test.

"Soybean rust-like pustules were found in samples collected from Gloucester and New Kent counties, but soybean rust has not yet been confirmed with an ELISA test. A sample from Charles City County was negative for soybean rust.

"Although Virginia is no longer at risk to soybean rust, we will continue to scout and track the movement of the disease through the Commonwealth. Frost is expected tonight, so leaf samples will be much harder to find."

Arkansas: 23 total counties

No updated commentary since Oct. 20, but this e-mail note from University of Arkansas soybean pathologist John Rupe that day notes the one outlying county that is the farthest west soybean rust has been found this year outside of the three positive counties in southeast Texas:

"I just found soybean rust on some late soybeans in Fayetteville this morning. This is the furthest west that we have found soybean rust. As of this morning, we have found rust in 18 counties in Arkansas: Chicot, Desha, Jefferson, Lincoln, Prairie, Lonoke, Lawrence, Monroe, Drew, Crittenden, Phillips, Lee, St. Francis, Mississippi, Jackson, Washington, Clay and Arkansas Counties. All of the finds have been on late planted soybeans that are at the late R6 early R7 growth stage."

Since then, the Arkansas counties of Craighead, Cross, Poinsett, Randolph and White have been confirmed positive. Washington County (home to Fayetteville) is the one off by itself in far northwest corner of the state.

North Carolina: 29 total counties

New today: Carteret, Montgomery and Pender counties. No new commentary.

Illinois: Eight total counties

Today, Jefferson County was confirmed positive from a 10/22/06 sample. The state commentary says adjacent counties to the eight positive ones are being sampled to determine the spread of the outbreak.

Mississippi: Five total

"A recent find was observed in Lee County, Mississippi, on Oct. 24, 2006. This find was on soybeans that were at maturity. This find poses no threat to our soybean crop. However, this find will aid in development of predictive models.

"Scouting will continue on what few soybeans are in the state as well as kudzu. Other legumes will be monitored throughout the overwintering areas."

SOURCE: Article by Marilyn Cummins, editor, ,a href=""> based on state and national commentaries on