White mold doesn’t appear to be moving anytime soon from its position as the No. 1 disease threat of Southeastern peanuts, but new options for controlling it continue to become available, says Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist.

“White mold is the No. 1 disease we face in Southeastern peanut production. It’s not the only important disease, but white mold, stem rot or whatever you want to call it, is a critical factor, and we spend millions of dollars to manage it each year,” said Kemerait at this year’s Georgia Peanut Farm Show in Tifton.

In 1994, peanut producers received a proverbial game changer in the form of tebuconazole sold as Folicur, he says. This was followed by azoxystrobin or Abound and Moncut or flutolanil.

“Think about the tools we now have available. Bravo came out in the early 1970s, and it was a game-changer as far as leaf spot control. Prior to Bravo and prior to the ability to keep leaves on the plant, white mold was not as big of a problem. But now that we can keep the crop healthier, white mold has exploded as far as importance. We’ve found that traditional leaf spot materials like Bravo – and certainly Benlate – increase the threat of white mold. What we did to control leaf spot created more and more problems with white mold,” he says.