Soybean rust (SBR) was detected on kudzu at very low levels in Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva and Houston counties this week. The disease was also found on kudzu that successfully overwintered in a urban area in Montgomery, also at very low levels. SBR was also found on two new kudzu sites in Baldwin County. The pathogen had previously been observed on kudzu in Mobile County.
The disease has yet to be detected on soybeans, though the crop, including sentinel plots, is at relatively early stages of plant growth. The disease will likely develop quickly on kudzu in the far southern counties of Alabama. We will continue to search for the pathogen on the next tier of counties north of the current zone of infection in the coming weeks.
Growers in Deep South Alabama need to consider a fungicide application in their production program this year. Applying a fungicide prior to full bloom is typically not economical. Products or tank mixes that include fungicides with both protectant and curative activity should be considered based on the current risk for SBR development and spread in this region.
All report of SBR are recorded on the SBR website. Please access it often. It has information about Alabama and all of the other states where soybean rust is scouted.