A new system known as the “Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education,” iPiPE for short, is now being used to track southern rust of corn in the U.S. The latest map of southern rust observations can be found on-line here. These observations come from university/Extension personnel in each state, as well as crop consultants and industry representatives. On the map, red counties (or parishes in Louisiana) mean that southern rust has been confirmed by university/Extension personnel. In some cases, counties may be colored yellow, which means that non-university/Extension personnel may have made observations of southern rust that have not yet been confirmed by university/Extension personnel. Some of these observations come from social media such as Twitter. People making corn disease observations in the field can tweet a picture of the disease, the disease name, county, and state where the field is located to @corndisease, to help keep track of corn diseases such as southern rust.
When this article was written, southern rust had not yet been confirmed in Kentucky. The disease has now been confirmed in Tennessee, so it is quite possible that southern rust is in Kentucky, but just has not been observed yet. For more information about southern rust, please see the Kentucky Pest News article posted on June 20, 2017.
Carl A. Bradley, Extension Plant Pathologist