Searching For Rust

Searching For Rust
By:  Jason Lindsey


Ballard County, KY -- As the heat bakes Heartland crops, farmers keep an eye out for something even worse. 


It's called soybean rust and it hasn't hit the Heartland yet, but in recent weeks extension agents found mysterious spores in aBallard County soybean field.


Ballard County Extension Service agent Tom Miller discovered the spores in one of ten Kentucky spore traps.  Here's how the trap works, a slide is coated with vaseline and as the wind blows spores through the Heartland they get stuck.


Miller checks this spore trap once a week.  Two weeks ago plant pathologist at the University of Arkansas discovered ten mysterious spores on one of the slides.  Miller says, they can't tell whether it's soybean rust, but whatever the rust it's enough to keep farmers on their toes. 


Farmers should not put their guards down.  Miller tells Heartland News that if this winter end up warmer than normal soybean crops could be in trouble next year.