A New Approach to Managing White Mold in MN Soybean/Expanding Digital Crop Doc, a Digital Diagnostics Service
Sustainable Production
Crop protectionDiseaseField management
Parent Project:
This is the first year of this project.
Lead Principal Investigator:
Angie Peltier, University of Minnesota
Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Code:
Contributing Organization (Checkoff):
Institution Funded:
Brief Project Summary:
Farmers now have another way to use their smart phones to get answers on crop issues in their fields. Beyond the traditional route of calling their field agronomist and scheduling a personal visit, they can now snap some photos and send them to the Digital Crop Doc for help. Digital Crop Doc, the brainchild of Angie Peltier, a Minnesota extension educator, is supported by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Farmers upload 10 photos and answer a series of questions. Then, an extension expert reviews the data and makes a diagnosis. The web-based system helps extension educators be as responsive as possible to farmers.
Key Beneficiaries:
#ag retailers, #agronomists, #applicators, #extension specialists, #farmers
Unique Keywords:
#digital crop doc, #fungicide, #soybean diseases, #technology, #white mold
Information And Results
Project Summary

There are two objectives addressed in this proposal:
Objective 1 is “A new approach to managing white mold in MN soybean”. White mold is an economically important disease of soybean caused by a soil-borne fungus called Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Complicating management, the pathogen is capable of infecting many other crops of economic importance to Minnesota producers. Many of the production practices that have been adopted to maximize soybean yield potential tend to favor a dense canopy and therefore also favor white mold and significant yield losses in Minnesota. The periodic nature of white mold suggests that a fungicide applied only in those years in which disease is favored should be economical and highly effective. However, significant yield losses can occur even when fungicides are timed perfectly. This is likely due to inadequate canopy penetration and coverage of the plant by the fungicide. This proposal details what could be a game-changing way to improve fungicide coverage and drastically improve in-season white mold management.

Objective 2 is to “Expand digital disease identification service: Digital Crop Doc”. Digital Crop Doc (DCD) is UMN Extension website on which people can supply important contextual information and up to 10 pictures of a diseased crop for which they are seeking diagnosis and management recommendations. Extension personnel provide a fast diagnosis to the submitter at no cost. While DCD was stood up in 2020 with MSRPC’s help, expanding the use and usefulness of this service to MN soybean producers is desired to better identify research and education needs.

Project Objectives

Proposal Objective and Goal Statements:
1) A New Approach to Managing White Mold in MN Soybean. (PI: A. Peltier, Cooperator: D. Malvick)
a) Conduct irrigated, inoculated field trials to compare coverage and efficacy of fungicides applied both between the rows and within the canopy (experimental) to typical over-the-top (standard) of the canopy.
b) Assess disease incidence and severity and soybean yield and moisture for plots treated with fungicide applied over the top of the canopy (standard) or within the canopy (experimental).

2) Expanding Digital Crop Doc, a digital diagnostics service (PI: A. Peltier in cooperation with UMN Extension communications and crops personnel).
a) Work to advertise and promote the UMN digital disease diagnostics program, Digital Crop Doc, to make sure that more MN soybean farmers are aware of and use this service.
b) Coordinate a team of ten Univ. of Minnesota Extension ‘diagnosticians’ to provide preliminary diagnoses and management recommendations to Digital Crop Doc submitters.

Project Deliverables

This project aimed to complete two objectives in the 2021-2022 project year. Neither were finished to completion and so a no-cost extension was both requested and granted. The final report will be due at this point in 2023.

Briefly, the historically severe drought conditions that prevailed throughout Minnesota in 2022 prevented all three components of the "disease triangle" (a susceptible soybean variety, the pathogen and the environmental conditions that allow the pathogen and plant to interact) from being present to cause disease.

For objective 1, while we were able to collect fungicide coverage and soybean yield and moisture data, hot, dry weather guaranteed a white mold-free growing season at the research farms in both Crookston and Staples.

For objective 2, although there was an advertising plan (Minneline and Soybean Business) in place, few attributed poorly growing soybeans in 2022 to plant disease and so there was only a single submission to Digital Crop Doc during the 2021 growing season.

Progress Of Work


View uploaded report PDF file

This project was carried over into the 2022-2023 funding cycle through a no-cost extension. The attached file is a summary of the 2021 field trials that went toward fulfilling the "A New Approach to Managing White Mold in MN Soybean" portion of this grant.

The historically severe 2021 drought conditions, led to only one submission to Digital Crop Doc in 2021. The soybean growing in a field near Crookston were suffering from a combination of iron deficiency chlorosis, soybean cyst nematode infection and drought stress.

View uploaded report PDF file

Final Project Results

Benefit To Soybean Farmers

The United Soybean Research Retention policy will display final reports with the project once completed but working files will be purged after three years. And financial information after seven years. All pertinent information is in the final report or if you want more information, please contact the project lead at your state soybean organization or principal investigator listed on the project.