Iowa Public Television


Hurricane Renews Fears of Soy Rust Spread

posted on July 8, 2005

A scientist at the University of Minnesota says the active hurricane season in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico could hasten the spread of Asian soybean rust from the southeastern U.S. into the Midwest.

Extension educator Ryan Miller says the winds could move in new spores from Cuba and move some of the spores already in the United States further north.

Hurricane Dennis poses the first threat of such a scenario. Climatologists say it is following a storm track similar to the one laid down in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan, which some scientists believe delivered the first cases of soybean rust to the southern U.S.

The destructive fungus first was discovered in North America last November. But it has plagued farmers in Asia and South America for years.

Tags: agriculture diseases hurricanes news storms weather