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The Problem of White Mold & SDS In Soybeans

As featured in Michigan Farm News, February 28, 2022

White mold produces tough survival structures called sclerotia. Research by X.B. Yang, Ph.D., out of Iowa State University has shown sclerotia can survive in soil for up to seven years, even through crop rotation. If you had white mold in 2020 and are rotating back to soybeans in 2022, you have an increased risk of disease reoccurring.

Sudden death syndrome is caused by a soil-borne fungal pathogen which invades the roots and lower stem of the plant, producing toxins that are taken up into the leaves. Disease that develops early in the season can result in significant yield loss.

Due to the longevity of the inoculum left in your soil after harvest, disease cycles of both white mold and SDS are difficult to break. While there is no one way to eliminate these diseases, a multi-step approach that includes Heads Up® Seed Treatment can offer protection.

The multi-step approach for disease protection

  1. Choose a disease tolerant seed variety suitable for your unique growing environment. Heads Up® is non-fungicidal, instead functioning through a mode of action called “systemic acquired resistance”. S.A.R “turns on” and engages your plants’ defenses upon germination, activating the full genetic potential of your chosen variety.
  2. Rotate crops to reduce the amount of inoculum (sclerotia) remaining in your soil.
  3. Consider using a fungicide at the R1-R3 growth stages.
  4. Plan, plan, plan. Make notes of highly infected areas for future planting consideration. Harvest heavily infected areas last to reduce the spread of inoculum.

About Heads Up®

A biological plant activator, Heads Up® is the only seed treatment that has been proven to protect against both white mold and SDS. With limited options available for SDS, and white mold protection scarce, it’s been our goal over the past 15+ years to provide a product backed by thorough, third-party research that can help protect farmers from these challenging diseases.

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