There isn’t much a farmer can do when it comes to the ravages of hail on their crop; however, if that crop is healthy and robust from the get-go, it can make a huge difference to the final yield.

realIPM’s KZN team recently worked with Ian Redfern at a private entity in Greytown. For a second year in a row, on a trial block of soybean, realIPM was brought in to deal with widespread sclerotinia. Sclerotinia (AKA “white mold”) is the main obstacle to good soybean production, second only to drought. Sclerotinia growth is favoured when soybeans are grown for their great yield potential. Infection is encouraged by extended, rainy, humid, and cool (18 to 24°C) climatic conditions before or during flowering. If favourable conditions exist during flowering, even a few sclerotia on the soil surface might have disastrous effects. The condition is extremely prevalent in regions or places where moisture builds up as a result of irrigation, fog, or persistent mist. When the crop canopy between rows has closed, the optimal humid environment for infection and disease growth is created. The drooping and withering of leaves are the first warning signs, followed by plant death.

Soyabean crop before hail

Soyabean crop after hail

The programme consisted of a spray of Real Bacillus, Real Trichoderma TRC900, and SeaBrix pre-planting to target the sclerotia (i.e., survival structures). To fit in with the standard farm operations, a “fungicide” spray was applied at R1 and R3 (reproductive growth stages). At R1, a spray consisting of NewSil, PopUp, NanoCal, and Biotrissol (all nutritional products), plus Copper Soap, Real Bacillus and Real Trichoderma TRC900 (as the fungicidal component) were applied. The crop was doing extremely well, as can been seen in the images, but then a severe hailstorm came a few days post the R1 foliar application. In order to salvage the crop, realIPM advised a spray of Triple10 and Real Bacillus to promote new plant growth and to seal any exposed wounds, shortly followed by a spray at R3, which consisted of the R1 foliar component minus Biotrissol.

The results were pleasing despite the damage from the hail - 2.61 tons/ha versus the farm standard block of 1.81 tons/ha. Both blocks were in the same area and were equally affected by the hail.

In addition, and despite the wet season, there was little to no evidence of sclerotinia on the realIPM block and other farm blocks. It has been a strange season as there were many wounds ripe for disease entry post the hail, however, the plants remained disease free.

realIPM would like to thank Ian Redfern for the opportunity to showcase our products on their fields.

For more information, please contact Steve Woolley-Kufal in KZN on ‭+27 (82) 572-3637/‬ or realIPM’s head office by completing out the contact form on the website.‬‬‬

Soyabean crop after hail