Canadian farmers have never been one to stand idly by. Faced with new opportunities every season, they “grab the bull by the horns” so to speak, outworking, outthinking and outmaneuvering whatever insect, pest or problem that stands between them and record yields.
Given their proactive approach to farming and life, it is surprising when growers take a more passive approach to disease management - especially when it comes to protecting their soybeans and canola from white mould or sclerotinia stem rot.
While farmers can manage the problem effectively by reacting quickly to a disease outbreak in their field, the best way to protect their crop and their profits is through making proactive disease management decisions.
Sclerotinia stem rot in canola and white mould in soybeans are both caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Weather and field history are two significant factors that put your crops at risk of developing the disease, which shows symptoms late in the season as grey to white lesions on the stems. The characteristic black sclerotia appear inside the stems, and in the seed pods in canola as well.
The disease infects the crop at flowering under cool and moist conditions. Dense plant canopies can also be more disease-prone than canopies that are not as closely knit.
Once white mould or sclerotinia occurs in a field, it is nearly impossible to eradicate. Long-term survival structures of this organism (sclerotia) ensure that inoculum is always available to attack the next canola or soybean crop should conditions allow. This is why growers with previously infected fields must treat the disease as a perennial threat.
Because white mould or sclerotinia can cause a significant yield reduction in both crops, it is vital that growers take a proactive approach to managing the disease. Here are six recommended proactive strategies to follow:
Acapela has one-of-a-kind movement properties that help provide complete coverage, consistent performance and superior protection. Rapid absorption moves the fungicide quickly and efficiently into and within each plant, allowing application to occur even when field conditions are challenging, so farmers get healthier crops and higher yield potential.
This article was written in partnership with agronomist Laura Sharpe.