Source: University of Illinois

Soybean rust has been detected for the first time in Illinois during the 2007 growing season from a field in the southern part of the state, according to experts from University of Illinois Extension.

“The arrival of rust so late in the year will have no impact on the 2007soybean crop,” said Extension plant pathologist Carl Bradley. “The soybean harvest is already well underway across much of the state. No management actions should be undertaken by growers or commercial applicators at this time as the soybeans are at a growth stage in which they will not incur yield losses.”

The discovery was made in extreme southern Illinois in Massac County near the border with Kentucky. The infected sample was collected by Ron Hines, a trained soybean rust scout with Gromark.

The presence of rust in the sample was confirmed both visually and through DNA testing by plant pathologist Glen Hartman from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"The discovery of soybean rust in the southern part of Illinois again this late in the season was not unexpected," Bradley said. "Plant Pathologists from the state of Kentucky had recently reported the presence of the disease in a county directly adjacent to that section of Illinois."

Bradley is currently sampling fields in adjacent counties to determine the extent and distribution of the outbreak.

"If infection occurs during the vegetative and early reproductive growth stages for soybeans, this disease can cause significant defoliation of the plant and subsequent loss in yield or even death of the plant," Bradley said. "Luckily the outbreak this time came late in the season and will have no significant impact on the crop."

Guidelines for management and additional information on soybean rust are available on the national soybean rust website and the Illinois soybean rust information center.