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573 - The 2012 Crop: Record Yield - Record Quality

The 2012 crop certainly goes down in the record book as #1 all time in both yield, 27.1 tons, and sugar content, 19.14 percent. Congratulations to growers, agriculturists, and allied industry for making it happen. Even year crops in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 have been exceptional. Make note of those decisions implemented in 2012 that led to your successes and repeat them in the future. The Lynchburg station averaged 20.6 percent sugar for top honors. Oslo and Hitterdal finished at 19.67 percent. Eleven receiving stations had over 10,000 lbs. recoverable sugar per acre. Voss, the EGF yard, Grafton and Nash all exceeded 10,800 lbs. recoverable sugar per acre.

Successful 2012 Management Strategies

  • Very early completion of planting
  • Excellent plant populations
  • Excellent available stored soil water
  • Above average GDD took advantage of points 1, 2, & 3
  • Adequate May, June and July rainfall
  • Proactive management of root diseases
  • Well thought out variety selection
  • Very good cercospora control
  • The beet crop rooting to 7, 8 or even 9 feet deep

Challenges and Opportunities for 2013

  • Reduced available stored soil water in almost all the RRV makes field selection critical.
  • Two to 2.5 inches of water per foot of soil is required to recharge typical loam, silt loam and clay textured RRV soils. Which rotation makes sense in 2013?
  • Preparing ideal seedbeds with uniform moisture for optimum germination and emergence will be a challenge if dry conditions persist.
  • Need to be proactive with resistant weed management.
  • If it remains dry, root maggots and root aphids may again threaten the crop.
  • Need to lower SLM values since they increased the past two years.

Future Yield Potential?

If August and September rainfall had been normal in 2012 this crop could have been 28 or 29 ton/acre. A 30 ton crop is on the horizon in the next few years.

2012 Detailed Harvest Data: 
Yield and Quality by Home Station - 2012 Crop