From the office of Jim Dunphy, Crop Science Extension Specialist (Soybeans) and Lindsey Thiessen, Extension Plant Pathologist
Asiatic Soybean Rust has been confirmed in Tift County, Georgia, earlier today, on soybeans in a Sentinel plot. This is the first find of rust on soybeans in Georgia this year, and is approximately 260 miles from Murphy, NC, and 305 miles from Charlotte. This find is more than 300 miles from any soybeans north or east of Charlotte. So far this year, no rust has been confirmed on soybeans any closer to any NC soybeans.
We still consider our earlier recommendation to not spray blooming soybeans that are more than 100 miles from confirmed presence of rust on soybeans to be a valid recommendation for most soybeans in NC. We do not recommend spraying for rust after stage R6 (full-sized beans in the top four nodes), since soybeans this mature will probably drop their leaves naturally before rust will cause many to drop prematurely. Check the label on the fungicide you prefer to use to see how late in the season that chemical may be sprayed.
The current status of rust in the continental US can be found anytime at http://sbr.ipmpipe.org.