A White Mold update from Dr. Bob Kemerait:
As of today, 8 August, I am receiving at least one, and usually more, reports of white mold daily. Today alone I have had reports from Shane Curry, Appling County, Scott Carlson, Tift County, and Dr. Albert Culbreath. Unfortunately for the grower in Tift County, much of the disease was “underground white mold” with wilting plants but little sign of white mold above ground, but plenty below. Why underground white mold? Recent very hot and dry conditions have driven the fungus just below the soil surface where it quietly eats the pods and pegs.
Why are we at a critical juncture in the white mold battle? Not only is white mold now appearing across the Coastal Plain but we are also likely to experience a week of rain. The heat, humidity and rain are likely to result in an explosion of white mold if growers are not prepared.
What should growers do? 1) Stay on a good spray program with a good fungicide for white mold control. 2) Growers (especially dry-land growers) should take advantage of predicted rain events to apply fungicides ahead of rain. Rains following fungicide applications (hopefully after 8-12 hours) will help to re-distribute the fungicide from the leaves to the crown of the plant. If rains occur to quickly after the fungicide spray, one can still expect good white mold control. However, the grower may need to come back to reapply a fungicide for leaf spot.