In the latest Soybean Rust Forecast posted yesterday, USDA reports that temperatures were below freezing Monday morning across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinians and in isolated areas of the western part of the Florida panhandle.

The weather pattern for the upcoming week, however, indicates that the main storm track will be from the Dakotas through the mid-Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic coast. This will keep the southeastern states above freezing through the week and into the weekend.

The freeze line marks locations that have experienced minimum temperatures equal to or lower than 32F during the late fall and winter seasons. The areas are a few miles inland along the Texas gulf coast to near New Orleans. Temperatures have fallen to below freezing to the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf coasts. It also includes the entire Florida panhandle. In Florida, the freeze line remains unchanged from near Tarpon Springs, Leesburg and Ocala to Daytona Beach.

Kudzu dieback tracks the southward defoliation of host vegetation for soybean rust development. Kudzu dieback is presented as a percentage of defoliation, with 0 percent representing no dieback and 100 percent full dieback.

There is currently nearly 100-percent dieback for Texas, except for the coastal areas all but the coastal areas of Louisiana; all of Alabama, Georgia and the Florida panhandle; and from Tarpon Springs, Fla., to just south of Jacksonville. The 5-percent dieback is nearly the same, which extends across southern Florida from Naples to Miami.

Visitors to the USDA site are encouraged to check the Observation and State Update screens on to follow the progress of sentinel plots and scouting in their local areas.