BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU AgCenter says a sugarcane fungus new to Louisiana has been identified in two fields. It's called orange rust.
Plant pathologist Jeff Hoy says sugarcane experts had expected the wind-borne fungus earlier since it was first identified in the United States five years ago in Florida.
Researchers and extension agents are checking other fields to see if they are infected.
Orange rust is native to Asia.
Hoy says it was found in two fields of a variety not yet in commercial release — a variety that's already known to be susceptible to the fungus. He says most of the varieties popular in Louisiana don't appear to be as vulnerable to orange rust.
The federal government has approved the use of two fungicides against it if needed in Louisiana.