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Extreme Heat Increases Risk of White Mold

June 6, 2019
This agronomic image shows white mold on peanuts

Record hot and dry temperatures in the Southeast this season are putting your peanuts at an increased risk of southern stem rot, or white mold. This disease thrives in unusually hot conditions and can have a severe impact on your yield potential.

According to Clemson University Extension, white mold is the most consistently damaging soil disease for peanuts, especially in extreme heat. This infection invades peanut branches that are in contact with the soil and spreads throughout the plant. In drought-like conditions, white mold is less likely to be noticed above ground, as the infection harbors underground in pegs and pods where it may not be detected until harvest.

As the disease takes over, it will rot the pods from the inside out and eventually kill the plant. The most noticeable sign of white mold is the white, fuzzy growth on the plant which spreads in a fan-like pattern. Other symptoms of this disease include dark brown lesions that appear on the stems and pods, and an increased wilting of stems.

The growing risk of infection due to the heat makes it all the more important that you have a strong disease management program in place for the season. The University of Georgia 2019 Quick Reference Peanut Guide is a resource that can help you plan your full season program.

We recommend starting your white mold program earlier this year using Elatus® fungicide to help protect against the increased threat of white mold. Elatus has the power of 2 active ingredients that improves residual disease control. With flexible use rates and application timing, using Elatus as part of your disease management program gives you enhanced protection from white mold.

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