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539 - Proper Pesticide Use A Necessity

Proper pesticide use practices have been a focus of the American Crystal Sugar Company since its inception as a cooperative. Annual and 5-year shareholder agreements specify the mandated terms of proper pesticide use required when raising sugarbeets for American Crystal Sugar Company.

Reasons for Proper Pesticide Use Practices

  • A need to be a preferred supplier of safe sugar and by-products to customers
  • Meeting customer requirements regarding food and feed safety
  • To continue to comply with all pesticide regulatory agency requirements
  • Prevent pile contamination
  • Prevent sugar silo, pulp shed, or molasses tank contamination
  • Avoid public relations disasters and loss of markets and customers
  • Environmental stewardship - it's the right thing to do

Chemical Applications to Sugarbeets

Before making any chemical applications to the sugar beet crop, Shareholders need to ensure that the product they are applying is properly labeled for usage on sugar beets. Language in the 5 year agreement states that; "Shareholder agrees that it shall use no pesticide, chemical or other substances in a manner inconsistent with product labels; or that could result in any residue in or on sugarbeets grown for Company under this Agreement, or in any sugar or by-products produced from such sugarbeets, beyond the limits permitted by law or governmental regulation. Shareholder acknowledges and agrees that Company shall have the right to reject and refuse delivery of any sugarbeets to which have been applied, or which have been grown on ground to which has been applied, any unauthorized, non-registered, non-approved or prohibited pesticide, chemical, or other substance. Shareholder further acknowledges and agrees that Company's right to reject or refuse delivery of any said sugarbeets may be invoked by Company at its sole option".

If it is discovered that an illegal chemical has been used, the field may be abandoned by the company. Circumstances that could be considered grounds for field abandonment include but are not limited to the following;

  • Intentional or unintentional application of an unlabeled or unregistered pesticide or other chemical by the grower or custom farming partner
  • Intentional or unintentional application of an unlabeled pesticide or other chemical to sugarbeets by a custom application agent
  • Planting sugarbeet intentionally or unintentionally on land in violation of a pesticide label rotational crop plant back restriction
  • Spray drift damage to a field from any source resulting in an illegal residue of a pesticide or other chemical 

Information to Ensure Proper Pesticide Use is Available From:

  • NDSU/UM Pocket Production Guide
  • ACSC "Proper Pesticide Use Specifications" brochure
  • ACSC "Glyphosate Formulations for Roundup Ready® Sugarbeet in 2010" brochure
  • NDSU and UM herbicide, insecticide and fungicide annual recommendation guides
  • Your agriculturist
  • University extension specialists
  • County extension agents
  • Reputable consultants and dealers
  • Private pesticide application certification classes
  • Crop production seminars
  • Internet site resources

The Bad Attitudes That Contribute to Weed Resistance

Many growers still don't take the weed resistance issue that seriously. An editorial in an issue of the Ag Professional magazine September, 2006 listed the top 5 reasons farmers don't take this issue seriously enough. They are:

  • Reason # 1: It's not in my field.
  • Reason # 2: There's no need to change what I'm doing.
  • Reason # 3: If I change what I do, it'll cost me more.
  • Reason # 4: I can just increase the rates of herbicides I use.
  • Reason # 5: Chemical companies will just come up with another product to save us.

Growers most at risk are using a rotation of RR soybeans, RR corn and RR sugarbeets. Reduced rates of glyphosate also contribute to increased risk of resistance development. Remember the major disappointment when seeing resistance to Upbeet from Kochia soon after Upbeet was registered. Keep in mind that just recently Kochia resistance to glyphosate was documented in Kansas.

Review the information on pages 8, 9 and 10 of the 2009 Sugar Beet Research and Extension Reports on managing weed resistance.

If you suspect a weed resistance problem in any RR crop on your farm in 2010 contact your agriculturist and Dr. Jeff Stachler at NDSU.

Don't leave weed resistance problems to the next generation farming your land. Address the issue today for long term success and profitability on your farm.