Soybean rust found in Berkeley County; first case in South Carolina this year
BLACKVILLE — Soybean rust was found for the first time this year in South Carolina in a sentinel plot near Carnes Crossroads, an area between Moncks Corner and Summerville in Berkeley County.
One leaf out of 50 collected Sept. 1 had three clusters of pustules and one solitary pustule. All pustules had just begun to produce spores. This field had received 1½ inches of rain in the last two weeks and on several mornings had heavy dew present until almost 10 a.m.
Clemson University scientists have examined samples from Aiken, Barnwell and Dorchester counties during the past week and found no rust. Eight to 10 more sites will be examined this week.
“We are intensifying our monitoring program now that rust has been found since we have quite a few late-planted soybeans,” said John Mueller, Clemson University extension soybean pathologist at the Edisto Research and Education Center.
With dry weather predicted for much of South Carolina, rust may have a difficult time spreading, Mueller said. Nevertheless, until rainfall becomes active in your area, hold off spraying a fungicide unless spraying a pyrethroid for stinkbugs, he said.
Soybean rust — yellowish in appearance on plant leaves — is a disease that causes premature defoliation, early maturation and severe loss of yield through premature foliation and decreased seed weight.