McGEHEE, Ark. — With Asian soybean rust confirmed in Drew and Desha counties earlier this month and rust expected to increase across the southeastern United States, being able to spot signs of potential infection is paramount.

McGEHEE, Ark. — With Asian soybean rust confirmed in Drew and Desha counties earlier this month and rust expected to increase across the southeastern United States, being able to spot signs of potential infection is paramount.

The soybean rust field day held Tuesday in Desha County offered about 100 producers, consultants and others from Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana, the chance to learn the symptoms and how to manage soybean rust if confirmed in their crops.

“It’s been a few years since rust has shown up this early in southeastern Arkansas,” said Gus Wilson, Chicot County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We thought having a field day would be a good opportunity to refresh peoples’ memories on soybean rust identification and see what the university’s recommendations are for management.”

Wes Kirkpatrick, Desha County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture said the timing was right for the field day.

“There may be lots of spots on soybean leaves at this time of year, and some more common diseases can look very similar to soybean rust. Picking out rust can be kind of tough sometimes,” he said. “Also, this field day gives the folks in those areas where rust has not been confirmed a chance to be proactive, and actively look for rust hot spots.”

Leading the field day was Extension Plant Pathologist Travis Faske along with Amanda Greer, an extension pathology program technician. (See Faske’s posts on soybean rust at http://Arkansascrops.com)

Both Kirkpatrick and Wilson said producers who suspect rust in their crop should take a sample to their county extension office, which will send it to the University of Arkansas plant diagnostic lab for analysis.

The good news, Faske said was that moderate drought in Arkansas and parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, were keeping rust development in check.

For more information on crop production, visit www.uaex.edu or http://Arkansascrops.com or contact a county extension office.