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559 - Variety Selection For 2012

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.

Variety selection mistakes observed in 2011 will severely impact yield and quality in some fields. Problems were:

  • Planting very poor Rhizoctonia resistance varieties in bad Rhizoctonia fields
  • Choosing varieties without Fusarium resistance in the southern RRV
  • Choosing conventional varieties for very weedy fields where Roundup Ready┬« varieties were better suited
  • Too little regard for vigor, emergence and seed germination variety data
  • Choosing on yield potential only instead of disease tolerance for some fields
  • Last but not least neglecting to choose high Rhizomania resistance varieties where needed.
Variety Selection Criteria
  • Revenue per acre
  • Disease resistance
  • Stand establishment ability
  • Harvestability
  • Seed treatment option availability

New Seed Treatments Approved for 2012

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.

Liming and Aphanomyces Management

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.

Other Benefits of Lime Application

  • Increased P soil test and available P
  • Improved soil tilth
  • Improved yield of other crops in rotation
  • Improved soil tilth
  • Benefits from available sulfur where needed

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.