On July 9, 2013, soybean rust was detected in a soybean sentinel plot in Pearl River County on the Poplarville experiment station in Mississippi. The find occurred in the Maturity Group IV soybean portion of the plot. Incidence (number of leaves with infection) was less than 1 percent as only a single leaf was observed. Severity (leaf surface covered by the disease) was greater than 30 percent.

As a team (Billy Moore, Malcolm Broome, and myself), we continue to scout for soybean rust in the soybean sentinel plots as well as kudzu and commercial soybean fields for soybean rust. In addition, as a portion of the MS Soybean Promotion Board funded project we scout soybean sentinel plots as well as commercial soybean fields for all diseases of economic importance. Funds were also provided this season to maintain the soybean rust monitoring system in the southern U.S. by the United Soybean Board.

Historically, this is the earliest we have identified soybean rust on soybean in MS since the disease was first identified in 2004. We beat last year’s first find by four days.

Stay tuned to the “Disease Monitoring” map section (http://www.mississippi-crops.com/disease-monitoring/) for updated information regarding the absence or presence of soybean rust in MS and adjacent states.

Management options

Since much of the state remains hot and dry, widespread fungicide applications are not necessary to prevent yield losses as a result of soybean rust. But, with that said, don’t change your particular management program if you were planning on making a R3/R4 fungicide application. Scouting for the disease as well as proper disease diagnosis are two of the more important first steps to preventing yield loss rather than simply making a fungicide application that could prove to be unnecessary.