Once your field selection and fall fertilization and tillage have been completed growers must choose varieties for 2012. During my 14 years at American Crystal Sugar Company variety selection decisions seem to be happening earlier and earlier each year. In the rush to secure selected varieties, choices are made with limited coded trial data. High pressure seed sales tactics contributed to this situation. Growers are strongly encouraged to postpone 2012 seed orders until 2011 variety field performance can be verified and coded trial data is available. If ordering early keep your options open to change your selection as more data becomes available.
Several new insecticide and fungicide seed treatments have been approved for use in 2012. Dr. Mark Boetel, NDSU Sugarbeet entomologist, Dr. Carol Windels, UM and Dr. Mohammed Khan, NDSU have extensively tested many of these products for several years. Review this unbiased data to make best choices for 2012.
Dr. Carol Windels research over 8 years has clearly shown that lime application will dramatically reduce incidence and severity of Aphanomyces on the sugarbeet crop. Numerous 2011 grower reports from limed fields with a history of Aphanomyces have indicated 3-5 ton/acre or greater yield increases due to liming. Select varieties with an Aphanomyces rating of 4.4 or less for high risk fields.
Lime Spreading Equipment
A variety of very good types of lime application equipment is commercially available. Check out this equipment at the 2012 International Sugarbeet Institute trade show in March.