Stem Rot (White Mold) and Other Diseases Dan Anco Clemson Peanut Notes No. 147 2023

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Highs into the week ahead continue to be in the 90s or nearly so for much of the state. Along with helping peanut grow, this is likewise conducive to the proliferation of the white mold fungus, where present, which can go unnoticed as it lurks below ground. Some years, we can go until inversion before white mold is seen. Just like scouting helps us to see what is happening and how things are progressing, knowing a field’s prior history brings practical value. Like leaf spot, white mold is best management through prevention.
The first attached image shows mycelial growth of the white mold fungus as well as some of its sclerotia. The presence of the fungus at and below the soil line illustrates the importance of getting the fungicide down to the area where it can provide protection. Wash down between 24 to 48 hours after fungicide application is a nice target to talk about, but with most of our acres being rainfed, we do what we can to take advantage of rain in the forecast where irrigation is not an option. While young “false white mold” can look similar in that it also has a white mycelial growth, older false white mold growth develops a yellowish toothy appearance and does not produce sclerotia. False white mold also will not result in discolored necrosis of peanut tissue when it grows over it and is brushed away, whereas “true” white mold does cause peanut tissue to become necrotic and begin to die. False white mold is a saprophyte that feeds on already dead/decaying material and does not need management.
The attached heat unit accumulation shows that from April 20 through July 19, degree day accumulation at Blackville has been 84% of what we have seen in 2022, with rainfall just over twice the amount from 2022. Still too early to know where we will be come pod blasting time and scheduling digging dates, but for now, preserving canopy health will give us flexibility later if we end up needing it.
The following presentation was given at the 2023 APRES meeting regarding runner maturity thresholds in SC. The 2300 caDD threshold (Celsius-based, includes rain/irrigation) was approximately equivalent to 3050 cDD (Fahrenheit-based, base temperature 56F, temperature only) over the examined data.
Runner maturity threshold chart

Dan Anco

Extension Peanut Specialist and Associate Professor

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Clemson University – Edisto Research and Education Center

64 Research Road

Blackville, SC 29817

630-207-4926 cell

Clemson Extension – Peanuts