A large-scale study suggests that no-till fields have a lower risk of soybean white mold than tilled fields. Tillage determines the placement of sclerotia or distribution of sclerotia in the soil. Sclerotia buried deeper than 2 in. in soil will not germinate and those left on the soil surface will germinate even in cornfields if conditions are right.

Tillage this fall will greatly affect the white mold next year. Early this summer, the temperatures were cool and there were reports of mushroom production from producers and agronomists.  Some mushrooms are white mold mushrooms and some look like white mold mushrooms, but are bird-nest mushrooms. The production of mushrooms this past summer will reduce the amount of white mold sclerotia if no-till was used for the 2010 season. However, if the field was tilled in fall 2009, large loads of sclerotia would have been buried in the soil and not germinated. For these fields, the risk can be reduced if no tillage has been done and will not be done next spring. Use of tillage after the 2010 growing season, in the fall or next spring, will bring up buried sclerotia to the soil surface, which can increase the disease risk.