Carolina Soybean Crop could have Problems After Tropical System Debby

All Carolina soybeans should be in the ground by the end of this week, and for those that got beans planted early, then the weather turned of cool and rainy, Dr. Jim Dunphy, NC State Extension soybean specialist says the weather didn’t slow them down much:

“It did slow things down a little, but not to the point of being a problem. Most of our summer temperature have been warmer than soybeans would like so being on the cool side was a help.”

Tropical system Debby is hovering in the Gulf off the Florida panhandle, and Dunphy says that depending on the direction once the storm makes landfall, soybean rust could be an economical concern this year:

“If it goes west and goes along the gulf coast then it could for sure cause some trouble. If it comes up through our state it will cause trouble for us as well. There are some rust spores in panhandle florida, so if the storm runs from there up to us, that provides a vehicle to bring them up to us.”

While soybean rust has been in the US for a number of years now, tropical systems have been cooperative, and haven’t brought the disease to the Carolinas at a time when it would have made an economic impact, according to Dunphy:

“It came too late or came from the wrong place. We do sometimes get storms that come from the panhandle up to us, but a lot of our hurricanes come in off the coast. But if that storm runs first where the rust spores are, like in the panhandle, than that can be a different story.”

Dunphy explains that there are three pests to be on the lookout for this year:

“The kudzu bug is our first concern coming out of South Carolina. We have the possibility of the stink bug coming out of Virginia.”

As far as the kudzu bug, it made a serious economic impact in South Carolina soybean fields last year, Dunphy says North Carolina producers are being especially vigilant:

“We have the kudzu bug identified in about 70 counties and anticipate by the end of this year will have it in just about every county. But identifying it in the county and having a serious problem are two different things.”

As far as soybean stands now, Dunphy had this:

“We have a pretty good stand on the ones that are in now. We have a long season left in front of us but right now we are looking good.”

Dr. Jim Dunphy, NC State Extension Soybean Specialist. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.