I’m commonly asked, “what traits should I plant on fields where there’s been white mold”. This is a common misconception and one I want to address head on. White mold infection is an environmental problem, not a varietal one. In other words, the trait does not protect your soybeans from this infection. (Check out this classic blog on why white mold score are misleading).
While there are varietal differences in disease response, most years, even the most susceptible soybeans are not affected and even the best can be hit hard under the right conditions.
Flowering date and wet weather are the determining factors for when a soybean will be infected, and flowering date is affected by maturity and planting date as well. That’s what’s made this year with a late, cold spring and much more moisture than average, the perfect setting for white mold to show up, regardless of the variety.
It is difficult to manage white mold. Environmental factors are the most significant cause for infection, with wet weather being a major factor in disease development. Infection of plants varies from year to year and field to field.
Unfortunately, by the time white mold is visible in the field, it is too late for fungicide application. Preventative measures are the most effective treatments; a fungicide application at the early bloom stage (R2) has shown some benefits in area research trials.
Crop rotation is really the best tool in your toolbox. And keep your soybeans off ground previously planted to susceptible crops such as dry beans, sunflowers, canola, or soybeans.
If you discover white mold on your farm, follow these harvest tips:
Questions about your field? I’m happy to help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at (701) 282-7476.