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Helping Canadian Farmers Solve The Problem Of White Mould In Their Bean Fields

A Multi-Step Approach

The genetic potential of your seed is highest when it first goes into the ground. Adverse weather, fungal pathogens, and other stressors can all negatively impact your yields.

Growing beans, you’re probably familiar with white mould. It’s a relatively new but growing problem in Canada and a major yield robber in the United States. White mould can not only impact your bottom line, but also threatens the sustained production of soybeans in North America.

White Mould

White mould (Sclerotinia stem rot) 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 mould in 2021 and are rotating back to soybeans in 2023, you have an increased risk of disease reoccurring.

Due to the longevity of the inoculum left in your soil after harvest, the disease cycle of white mould is difficult to break. It’s important to work with your agronomist in developing a disease management plan specifically tailored to your fields. While there is no one way to eliminate this disease, a multi-step approach that includes Heads Up® Seed Treatment can offer protection.

The multi-step approach for disease protection

  1. First and foremost, it’s important to select a seed variety best suited for your unique growing environment. All plants have innate resistance against fungal and bacterial disease. Extensive breeding in soybeans has led to the ability for many seed companies to be able to rank their seed varieties from moderately susceptible to moderately resistant against different disease pathogens. 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 the soil. In heavily infected soil, consider a rotation out of beans or other host crops for more than two years.
  3. Consider using a fungicide at the R1-R3 growth stages. Applying Heads Up prior to planting can potentially reduce your need for additional passes of fungicide, saving you money and time otherwise spent on second or third applications.
  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.

In University research across the United States and Canada, Heads Up has been shown to provide significant advantage in moderate to high disease pressure. When white mould is present, growers have noted:

  • Fewer dead and infected plants.
  • A reduction in yield loss, sometimes saving as much as 7 to 10 bushels per acre.
  • Less sclerotia returning to your soil, positively impacting soil health and future planting. If you’re rotating with corn in no-till fields, any sclerotia within 2 inches of the soil surface will germinate under the corn canopy, reducing the amount of pathogen remaining when you rotate back to beans.

A Winning Strategy

The best thing you can do to combat disease is pair Heads Up with fungicides and inoculants that utilize different modes of action, therefore “stacking” your protection. Heads Up has no living organisms, meaning it is compatible with other seed treatments and can be applied days, weeks or even months prior to planting. Heads Up can also be used alone and is OMRI™ certified for organic use.

Heads Up is a biological seed treatment PMRA registered for soybeans (root rot and damping-off, white mould, sudden death syndrome), dry beans (white mould) and potatoes (rhizoctonia canker and black scurf).

Where to Buy

Heads Up is available in Canada from your nearest AgroMart location.

Questions? Call Now!