State Agriculture officials are urging farmers not to panic, after the discovery of soybean rust in Iowa. A soybean leaf recently found in a grain bin in Iowa tested positive for the fungus, which can be disastrous for crops. Still, Jane Larson with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture says there's no need for concern. She says farmers should remain alert, but no extra precautions need to be taken at this time.
Soybean rust has been making its way North over the past several years. It has not yet been found in Wisconsin, although it has appeared in several neighboring states. The Iowa sighting proves the fungus can survive in this region of the country.
However, Larson says even if it shows up in Wisconsin this year, it doesn't mean the fungus will be here to stay. She says the fungus could have a hard time establishing a presence in Wisconsin because the winters may be too rough for it. Still Larson says ag officials remain vigilant for the appearance of soybean rust in the state.