Farmers Across the Midwest Worry About White Mold

Soybean farmers in our area are being urged to double check their crops for white mold. It's a fungus that affects the entire plant, and it loves cool, cloudy and humid weather. But the main concern is heavy morning fog where the fungus grows the most.

White mold decreases the quality of the soy beans, which can have major effects on a farmer's revenue. And even though it hasn't been seen in our immediate area, specialists say to be on the look out.

Dan Marzu, the agricultural development educator for Marathon County, said farmers can buy soybeans that have a resistance to the mold, and rotating your crop can help.

"There are some soybean varieties that are resistant to it," said Marzu, "They're not 100 percent resistant, but they do give some resistance to it."

Marzu also said the increase in mold probably won't affect prices at the grocery store, at least for now.

"It really won't have that much affect on our wallets," said Marzu, "It's more on the farmers side... they're dealing with very low prices right now. So anything that they can do to help the quality of the grain to keep up their prices will be very helpful."

Specialists say rotating your crops can be difficult sometimes, because mold can survive for many years in soil. So if you do notice mold forming in your soybean field, make sure you thoroughly wash your harvest equipment after using it; to avoid spreading fungus spores.


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