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Soybean rust in Mississippi: On the lookout 2005.

Presenter: Bonnie C. Wells, Mississippi State University-MAFES/DREC, Stoneville, MS 38776
Coauthor(s): G.L. Sciumbato1, D.H. Poston1, W.F. Moore2, M.A. Blaine2, and R.A. Henn2, 1MAFES/DREC, Stoneville, MS, 38776, 2MSU Extension, MS State, MS 39762

As of October 2005, Asian Soybean Rust (ASR) was found in two southern locations in Mississippi (MS) this year through monitoring of sentinel plots. Inoculum potential was low at both sites, and the plots were destroyed. The sentinel plot program for MS began in 2004, with Mississippi State University (MSU) plant pathologists monitoring six soybean sentinel plots, as well as conducting bi-weekly surveys of kudzu and volunteer soybeans. Through these efforts, the first appearance of ASR in MS was confirmed on November 17, 2004, shortly after the first appearance of the disease in the US. Several intensive surveys revealed the presence of ASR in some counties along the MS River. Fortunately, MS harvest was 90 percent complete, and MSU plant pathologists had time to prepare for ASR in 2005. Twenty-three sentinel plots representing soybeans, kudzu, and butterbeans were established and monitored bi-weekly for ASR. Other detection measures included volunteer soybeans and S.M.A.R.T. fields. Identification of ASR was challenging because many diseases with similar symptoms occur in MS. Commonly confused diseases with ASR in MS include Septoria brown spot, bacterial blight, and bacterial pustule. Once ASR was positively confirmed, fungicide application recommendations were made to producers based on the growth stage of the crop, environmental conditions and the location and prevalence of the disease. Monitoring for ASR in sentinel plots and fungicide use will be vital to combating the disease in MS and beyond.

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