Soybean Disease Management Considerations and White Mold

Soybean yield potential can be compromised by early environmental stresses and a complex of soil-borne pathogens, which negatively affect root health and seedling vigor.

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Benefits of Seed Treatments

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Cool (less than 60° F) and moist soil conditions can slow germination and establishment of soybean seeds, making them more susceptible to soil-borne seed and seedling pathogens such as Pythium, Phytophthora, and Fusarium. Warm, moist soil environments favor the pathogen Rhizoctonia. These pathogens can invade plant roots causing tissue decay, pre-emergence damping off, and early post-emergence seedling death. Additionally, many early season insects can damage soybean plants early in their development. Acceleron® Fungicide Soybean Seed Treatment Products provide excellent control of Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Fusarium, and early-season Phytophthora using an exclusive fungicide combination featuring fluxapyroxad, pyraclostrobin, and metalaxyl. Fluxapyroxad adds an additional fungicide mode of action for more complete, consistent protection from Rhizoctonia and Fusarium.

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Early Season White Mold Management Considerations

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White mold is a disease that has the potential to impact soybean yield potential. There are some cultural control methods to consider before planting that may help control the incidence of disease in fields prone to white mold.

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Although tolerant seed products should have significantly less disease incidence than susceptible products, there are no soybean products completely resistant to white mold1.

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High plant populations (≥ 175,000 plants per acre) have been associated with increased white mold incidence. Consider decreasing plant populations in fields with a history of white mold; however, be sure populations maintain yield potential. Using a plant population of 125,000 to 150,000 plants per acre can help minimize the incidence of white mold1.

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Research at several universities has shown that Cobra® Herbicide (lactofen) can suppress white mold when applied at or near soybean blooming.1,2 It is important to note that lactofen can cause leaf burn and may reduce yield with late applications. If soybeans are under stress at application time (flowering, pod fill), any further stress will have a negative impact on yield. This is especially true when white mold is absent. However, if you have white mold, lactofen may offer some protection.

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There are several fungicides labeled for white mold in soybean and fungicides applied properly can provide good control. When a field has a history of white mold, a combination of strategies that includes tolerant varieties, wider row spacing, tillage, and fungicides, when necessary, should be employed.