Virginia Tech scientists say that there has been a change in the status of the fungus causing Asian Soybean Rust but that the new information is still too preliminary for any action on the part of the Commonwealths soybean producers.
A single cluster of six urediniospores found at Virginia Techs Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Suffolk was identified by morphological characteristics as matching the description of the fungus.
"The spores in question appear to resemble the causal agent of Asian Soybean Rust, Phakopsora pachyrhizi, said Erik Stromberg, interim head of the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science in Virginia Techs College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "But we can not be absolutely certain that they are. The weather conditions between Aug. 5 and 11, the time the sample was found, were extremely hot and dry and not conducive for promoting the infection process. Researchers found no indication of Asian Soybean Rust when they examined the adjacent sentinel plots and other nearby fields. At this time, no recommendation for fungicide is warranted in Virginia. It is highly unlikely that Asian Soybean Rust will be detected in any soybeans in Virginia for at least three weeks."
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