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585 - 2013 Crop Statistics = Remarkable Success

25.2 Tons Per Acre Average
17.33 Percent Sugar Content
1.13 Percent Sugar Loss to Molasses

THE 2013 CROP WAS REMARKABLE IN MANY WAYS. THE LAST 200 ACRES WERE PLANTED ON JUNE 20TH. ALMOST 10% OF THE CROP WAS PLANTED IN June. Less than 10% of the crop was planted by May 13th with 70% of the crop planted between May 14 and May 21. Much of the early growing season was cool and wet with row closure much later than normal. July and August were much below average in rainfall in many parts of the RRV. Rainfall was far above normal in September and accompanied by well above normal daytime highs and nighttime lows. Fargo did not have a single nighttime low below 40°F in September. Most of October was slightly warmer than long term averages. The first severe canopy killing frost did not occur until the last week of October. In spite of all the challenges the yield was the fifth best all time.

What factors other than weather shaped the characteristics of the remarkable 2013 crop?

  • The fact that sugarbeet is a biennial plant and we harvest the root and not the reproductive stage (seed) allows crop growth till a killing frost occurs.
  • Ability of the crop to root to 8 feet deep or greater and utilize stored soil water
  • Lower than normal disease pressure other than Fusarium hotspots
  • High plant populations were able to respond to weather suitable for growth in late summer and fall
  • Low sugar content was likely due to a wet September, late season N mineralization and fully hydrated beets
  • Excellent weed, insect, and disease best management practices used by growers enabled the crop to take advantage of good late summer and fall growing conditions