Researchers say they’ve found Asian soybean rust, which can spread quickly and heavily damage crops, in central Louisiana.
It’s the first time this growing season that the disease has been found on soybeans, said Clayton Hollier, a plant pathologist with the Louisiana State University AgCenter. It was detected in Avoyelles and Rapides parishes.
If untreated, rust can wipe out most of a farmer’s crop, AgCenter soybean specialist David Lanclose said. Fungicides can help control the disease.
Kurt Guidry, an agricultural economist with the AgCenter, said it can cost up to $30 an acre to treat crops that haven’t been sprayed for rust. He recommends growers keep close watch of their fields.
“This is not a disease where a farmer can say he won’t treat crops and take a loss,” he said. “This is not a disease that doesn’t stop at just 10 percent of crops lost.”
Louisiana farmers last year planted about 870,000 soybean acres, according to Louisiana’s branch of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. This year, they planted an estimated 630,000 acres.
Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, www.thetowntalk.com.
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