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467 - Stand Establishment Practices For Success

Establishing excellent uniform plant populations early in the spring greatly enhances the profit potential for any field. Careful attention to crucial stand establishment factors is important to meeting your plant population goals in 2005. Recommended plant populations are approximately 180 beets per 100 foot of row to maximize on farm profits.

Steps to Stand Establishment Success

  • Thorough planter inspection and maintenance
  • A visit to a test stand clinic
  • Proper seedbed preparation
  • Choice of the right seed spacing for each field and variety
  • Eighty-six percent of all fields were planted at a spacing of 5.3 inches or less in 2005

Table 1: Effect of Seed Spacing on Recoverable Sugar/Acre, 2000-2004

Seed Spacing (Inches) % of Fields RSA (lbs)
3.0 - 3.49 0.26 7052
3.5 - 3.99 0.63 6814
4.0 - 4.49 5.0 6673
4.5 - 4.99 23.2 6560
5.0 - 5.49 50.4 6521
5.5 - 5.99 17.9 6383
6.0 or > 2.5 6235

Protecting Established Stands

Replant acres in the last 5 years have varied from a low of 1,240 acres in 2001 to a high of 80,022 in 2002. Yield loss of 1 to 2 tons per week delay in planting is common. Growers can minimize risk of stand loss or replanting using a number of practices.

Stand Preserving Practices

  • Planting enough seeds - consider 5.0 inch or less seed spacing
  • Using stinger tines on planters between the rows to bring up clods.
  • Use of cover crop on erosion prone soils or fields.
  • Maintain some soil clods on top of a friable but well packed seedbed
  • Some growers believe N-S rows are less prone to serious stand loss
  • Avoid use of seedbed tillage that leaves dry, loose topsoil ready to blow
  • Use RTK or other GPS systems to blind cultivate blowing fields if necessary
  • Manage residue carefully. (1) too little promotes blowing (2) excessive residue reduces emergence (3) use of trash wheels over rows can be beneficial
  • Cultivate in advance of blowing if a field is very vulnerable to wind erosion

Think Soil Applied For Serious Weed Problems 

Half of all sugarbeet growers indicated weed control was their greatest challenge in 2004. Kochia was listed as the most serious weed problem by 41% of growers. Lambsquarters and pigweed were listed by 25 and 21% of all growers.

Soil applied herbicides are an excellent option to achieve maximum weed control in heavy weed pressure fields. Products available are Nortron or Ethotron and Dual Magnum. A few growers still use Eptam and Roneet. For the top 50 grower group from 2000-2004 just over 40% used a soil applied herbicide. American Crystal Sugar Company growers as a whole used a soil applied herbicide 28% of the time.

When to Use Soil Applied Herbicides

  • For resistant Kochia control
  • In fields with severe weed problems
  • For fields with poor stands
  • For other difficult to control weeds
  • Lanceleaf Sage
  • Some Lambsquarters species
  • Powell Amananth

NDSU Research by Dr. Alan Dexter

Data in Table 2 Indicates significant increases in Lambsquarters and Kochia control using PRE Nortron versus microrates alone. Crop injury increased only slightly.

Treatment, Qt/A Colq Cntl Morris (%) Rrpw Cntl Reyn (%) Kochia Cntl 2 loc (%) Sugb Injury 7 loc (%)
Micro-Rate (4x) 80 98 48 8
PRE Nortron 3.0/M-R (3X) 85 100 57 8
PRE Nortron 3.75/M-R (3X) 93 100 67 10
PRE Nortron 3.0/M-R (4X) 99 100 72 11
PRE Nortron 3.0/C-R (4X) 100 100 94 16
LSD (0.05) 5 NS 7 3

Dual can be successfully used as well, although crop injury risk is greater. Research data from 2004 at NDSU is presented in Table 3. Dual gave increased pigweed and lambsquarters control over Microrate use alone. It will improve Kochia control but is less effective than Nortron.

Table 3: 2004 NDSU Research by Dr. Alan Dexter

Treatment, Pt/A Colq Cntl Morris (%) Rrpw Cntl Reyn (%) Kochia Cntl 2 loc (%) Sugb Injury 7 loc (%)
Micro-rate (3X) 72 68 26 6
Pre Dual Magnum 2.0/M-R (3X) 80 100 41 16
PPI Dual Magnum 2.0/M-R (3X) 89 97 36 23
PRE Nortron 7.5/M-R (3X) 93 100 67 10
LSD (0.05) 5 5 7 3

Remember to contact your agriculturist to sign 24c label indemnity forms if you plan on using Dual Magnum as a PRE or PPI application in 2005.