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Soybean Rust Confirmed in Central North Carolina

Rod Gurganus, Extension Director in Beaufort County, North Carolina says that Asian Soybean Rust has been confirmed in Cumberland County, North Carolina. This discovery means that all soybean fields in the state are now susceptible to the rust:

“There is enough of it around to the west and south of us and then the recent find up in Virginia. That’s evidence enough that its here and the recommendation is that if its within 100 miles of you to look into spraying.”

The latest discovery in Cumberland County puts the rust in three locations within 100 miles of most of the state of North Carolina. The previous finds were in Scotland, and Cleveland Counties, as well as Suffolk County Virginia.

Gurganus outlines the plant maturity level for spraying for soybean rust:

“If you have a 20 bushel or more yield potential and if you have beans that are flowering all the way up to R6, then you can get by without spraying because you are close enough to maturity that it wont be a problem.”

NC State Extension soybean specialist Dr. Jim Dunphy explains that most fungicides are effective as a preventative, but not as a cure for soybean rust:

“The fungicides that we have are pretty effective on rust, but they are much better at preventing rust than they are about curing it. We don’t have one that is good at curing so that makes it difficult to manage. The ideal time to spray is the day before the rust gets there, but we don’t have a real good idea when that is.”

This isn’t the first time that Asian soybean rust has been discovered in North Carolina, but this is one of the first times that it’s show up when there’s still the possibility of economic loss. This year’s late planted crop is part of that equation says Gurganus:

“That was the reason for making the recommendation to spray because we do have so many later planting and maturing beans. We could see some problems if we are not proactive.”

Director of Beaufort County Extension Rod Gurganus, and NC State Extension Soybean Specialist Dr. Jim Dunphy. 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.