Database Research Summaries
2018 Improving white mold management with variable rate planting and foliar applications in soybeans

calendar_today Year of Research: 2018
update Posted On: 12/04/2019
group Missy Bauer (Principal Investigator, B&M Crop Consulting)
bookmark Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee

Research Focus

The focus of this project is to determine if VRA planting should be part of the white mold management recommendation for the state of Michigan.


Determine if variable rate planting, cobra herbicide, and/or fungicides are viable options to managing white mold and increasing yields.


  1. The white mold pressure was relatively low and severity within the plant was also low. Despite those conditions, implementing VRA population and fungicide use was still important. White mold incidence counts were reduced with lower populations, fungicide, and cobra fungicide treatments in both years.
  2. The best economic treatment for white mold management in the low-pressure seasons was VRA population with a fungicide when averaged across the three locations in 2017 and 2018. On average it increased net dollars $32.86 per acre compared to the standard 150K without fungicide. When averaged across both population treatments the fungicide increased net dollars by $8.50 per acre.
  3. There is still some economic risk in managing white mold with Endura fungicide, however on average it still pays. The VRA increased net dollars by $23.68 per acre when averaged across the treatments, excluding the cobra treatments. The VRA population is the best place to start with managing white mold since the economics are strong and there is not much risk. Cobra treatments decreased net dollars on average $87.49 per acre; however the majority of that loss came from one plot in 2018. The use of cobra can reduce white mold pressure; however the risk of not overcoming the burn is too great. Therefore it would not be recommended to use Cobra as a treatment for managing white mold.
  4. This data would support VRA population as the starting place for managing white mold. Population drives white mold pressure. The use of a white mold foliar fungicide would also be recommended but the economic response may be more variable based on pressure and late season weather. Overall white mold can be reduced and profitability increased by implementing VRA population and using a foliar fungicide.


  • This study may help soybean farmers reduce yield loss from white mold by determining the appropriate cultural practices that should be recommended for white mold management.
  • This study may show that VRA planting can also help manage white mold infections by reducing populations in parts of the field that tend to have higher white mold pressure.

For more information about this research project, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.

Funded in part by the soybean checkoff.