Last week I found the first outbreak of Orange Rust in Nelson County this year. Orange Rust is a big threat to the commercial Blackberry industry in Kentucky. Nelson county has about ten acres of Blackberries planted and that is expanding yearly.
The main problem associated with Orange Rust is the fact that once the plant becomes infected with the disease it can't be healed. Orange Rust moves systemically within the plant infecting the roots, crown, stem, and foliage. The plant will become less vigorous and decline with time. It is easily recognizable this time of year due to its large orange pustules that populate the underside of the leaves. For more information on how to control Orange Rust on Blackberries visit: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ho/ho15/ho15.pdf