Asian soybean rust was confirmed on older kudzu leaves from Tattnall County near Reidsville, April 9, according to a Web post from Bob Kemerait, a University of Georgia plant pathologist based at Tifton.
Although the pustules were moderately sporulating, no pustules were found on young leaves (yet).
Kemerait provides these thoughts on the discovery:
1. This is the earliest (post-frost period) that we have confirmed soybean rust in Georgia since 2005.
2. Certainly our mild winter has allowed rust (and other nematodes and pathogens) to bridge the 2018 and 2019 cropping seasons.
3. Finding rust already as far north and east as Reidsville suggests that a) our soybean crop could be threatened very early this year and b) the rust could be on kudzu across much of Georgia’s coastal plain.
4. We have known that soybean rust was already in extreme southern Alabama and in peninsular Florida. This confirms that our soybean producers in Georgia must be vigilant early in the season.
5. At this point, I do believe that soybean producers should be thinking about a fungicide application as early as R1, first bloom, depending on weather conditions and the spread of rust.