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Heads Up® – Fight Soybean White Mold

heads up plant protectant

Photo:  Perham, MN September 2017
Severe White Mold Infestation – Soybeans
Left Side:  No seed treatment; inoculant only at time of planting
Right Side: Heads Up® Seed Treatment + Inoculant.
Field had history of heavy white mold pressure and was seeded consecutively to soybeans (host crop).  Both sides had 3 applications of foliar fungicide, only difference left to right is Heads Up® seed treatment.

“Biological control products are the future for disease management in row crops” – Dr. X.B. Yang, ISU

With over 2 Million acres of dry beans planted in the US in 2017, North Dakota continues to lead the pack in production with over 700,000 acres planted according to the USDA.  While much of the Dakotas experienced above average hot and dry conditions throughout the growing season; white mold still was present in stealing yield from soybean and pulse growers in certain pockets throughout the state and North Central region.

White Mold (caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) favors cool and moist conditions, where dense, thick crop canopies limit the movement of air.  Infection begins as hard, black structures called sclerotia remain dormant in the soil and germinate to produce apothecia which produce spores that affect the plant through senescing flowers.  Disease management practices for reducing the severity of white mold often include: using partially resistant varieties of seed, reducing plant density through lower seed rates, implementing wider row spacing, planting non-host crops, and spraying a foliar fungicide during the reproductive stages of the crops life cycle.  While these strategies remain important, one should note fungicide application can be very costly to the grower, and timing of application can be very subjective and weather driven, often requiring multiple applications as the generally acceptable means to suppress a moderate to heavy white mold problem.

Heads Up®, a new biological seed treatment offers a new approach to managing white mold.  As a seed treatment, Heads Up® works to prevent white mold, through a new, non-fungicidal mode of action called systemic acquired resistance or S.A.R.  Through S.A.R, Heads Up® when applied as a seed treatment, upon germination signals a response to the plants defense mechanism, priming the plants defenses, and physiologically changing the seed to have better, early season resistance against soil borne diseases.  As a grower, the associated benefits of using Heads Up® Seed Treatment is that the product signals a physiological response which stays with the plant until senescence, makes it a full season, systemic, broad spectrum approach for fighting fungal diseases.

Heads Up® is EPA registered for use in soybeans, dry beans, peas, corn, wheat, potatoes and tomatoes.  A cost-effective seed treatment, Heads Up® retails to growers for less than the cost of one-half of a bushel of soybeans.

Heads Up® is Distributed by Pulse USA, WinField United, Unified Ag Solutions, and Albaugh, LLC.

Got a question?  Call us directly at 1-866-368-9306 for more information regarding efficacy/yield data.  View yield data and a complete list of all registered crops and trials online at www.headsupST.com


EPA Registration #81853-1, OMRI Cert. # HUP-0287



USDA, “Statistics by Subject,” https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_Subject/result.php?E30619D3-058D-3B60-B3B5-F0401A52C1FC&sector=CROPS&group=FIELD%20CROPS&comm=BEANS, accessed September 5, 2017.


USDA, “Quick Stats,” https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/, accessed September 5, 2017.

North Central Research Program. http://www.ncsrp.com/pdf_doc/Progress%20Reports%202016/SDS_Yang_March2016.pdf. Accessed August 16, 2017.

[1] Soybean Research & Information Initiative, “Soybean Disease Management – White Mold,” (PDF file), http://soybeanresearchinfo.com/pdf_docs/WhiteMold_CPN1005_2015.pdf, accessed September 7, 2017.

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