Minnesota Farm Bureau

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Combating white mold’s impact on Michigan soybeans
USAgNet - 09/27/2023

In Michigan, white mold is currently a significant challenge for soybean farmers. Agronomist Justin Schneider of LG Seeds urges farmers to be vigilant and proactive to shield future yields.

This year’s weather conditions, characterized by an early drought followed by substantial rainfall, have been favorable for white mold development, resulting in widespread plant infections.

Schneider estimates a yield loss of 5% to 10% due to the heightened disease pressure, urging a focus on preventive strategies. Selecting soybean varieties resistant to white mold, such as LGS2001E3 and LGS2025XF, is a primary defense line.

Another key practice is no-till farming, which limits the fungus's ability to reach soybean flowers. Additionally, strategic crop rotation, especially after sugar beets, is essential, with corn being a favorable option to hinder white mold growth.

Fine-tuning fungicide applications based on row spacings is also necessary. Narrower rows require earlier applications due to denser canopies. Balancing soil fertility is the final tip, as over-fertilization can create conducive conditions for white mold.

Schneider advises farmers to recognize high fertility fields and manage them appropriately. By implementing these strategies, Michigan farmers can effectively combat white mold and protect their soybean yields.

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