During a discussion about new fungicides for soybeans and corn, Scott Monfort, University of Arkansas Extension plant pathologist, took a few minutes to discuss the hunt for soybean rust in kudzu.
• “Kudzu’s kind of an interesting critter. It tends to be able to grow into old houses and this, that, and the other. This stuff can really cover up things. I’ve seen it in these little gully areas or little ravines, I’ve seen this stuff on an entire house and an entire schoolbus. This stuff is tough. We brought it here for erosion control. It works very well for erosion control, but it takes over everything else.”
• “There’s a lot of potential for running into snakes, big animals, small animals. There’s no telling what else is there, because you can’t see what you’re going into.”
• “You get the mud while walking through kudzu, for sure, so boots are a must. But most of the time you try to find an animal trail off into the path where you can kind of see where you’re going.”
• “Kudzu covers everything up. A lot of times when we go into these wood patches, there are gullies that this stuff covers to make it look just like a flat bed of kudzu. Then you step in it and you may fall 2 feet. You take a stick with you to kind of poke and prod to make sure you don’t lose your footing. It can be quite interesting.”
By Amy L. Fahnestock