Help limit white mold with no-till

A plant pathologist says there is no silver bullet for defeating white mold in soybeans, but there are things farmers can do to slow the spread of the disease.

Dr. Damon Smith with the University of Wisconsin tells Brownfield once white mold shows up, it will probably come back again in the same spots, so keeping track of exactly where the disease occurred is important. “It does move relatively slow in the field if it’s left to its own devices, so you know, mapping a field or at least knowing where those hot spots are can be helpful in terms of where you’re going to direct your management in that particular field.”

Smith says changing how farmers work the soil can also slow down the spread of white mold. “We really like to see a no-till implemented in these heavy white mold fields, We do know over time with that no-till system, especially if you can work the rotation a little longer, maybe get some small grains that are a non-host into that system, we can really substantially reduce the in-field inoculum levels.”

Smith encourages farmers to use the free Sporecaster phone app to help predict when conditions are favorable for white mold so they know when to apply a fungicide.

Smith talked to Brownfield at the recent Wisconsin Corn-Soy-Pork Expo in Wisconsin Dells.

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