National Sclerotinia Initiative

The National Sclerotinia Initiative was created to minimize the devastating effects of sclerotinia (white mold or stem rot), a fungal disease affecting broadleaf plants such as canola, soybeans, sunflowers, dry edible beans, and pulses (dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas). The National Sclerotinia Initiative was established by the U.S. Canola Association, American Soybean Association, National Dry Bean Council, National Sunflower Association, and USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council. This multi-state, multi-crop research program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.

Sclerotinia generates hard, black bodies called sclerotia that can remain in the soil for many years. Under the right weather conditions, the sclerotia produce spores that spread for miles and can infect a susceptible crop. The fungus causes serious economic loss by negatively impacting crop quality and yields.