Soybean rust was found yesterday on kudzu in Grady County, Georgia.

Grady County becomes the first county in Georgia to have rust in 2006 and brings the U.S. total to a 12 counties in three states this year.

The infected patch of kudzu was found behind a building in downtown Cairo, Ga., near the Georgia/Florida border, said Layla Sconyers, with the department of plant pathology of the University of Georgia, on The rust was found on what appeared to be older leaves that had survived the cold temperatures due to protection from the building.

"Copius amounts of rust pustules and spores were observed later at a laboratory dissecting microscope at the University of Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station," Sconyers said.

The patch was one of seven kudzu locations scouted Jan. 30 in Seminole, Grady and Thomas counties in Georgia. Of the seven, five of them had a small percentage of greening and leaf-sprouting occurring. No soybean rust was found other than in the Cairo patch.

The other soybean rust locations found in 2006 were in Montgomery County in south-central Alabama on Jan. 12 (the northernmost point this year) and in 10 Florida counties, found Jan. 11-13 and confirmed Jan. 17 and 20.

SOURCE: Georgia state commentary and archived data on