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588 - Sustainable, Profitable Sugarbeet Production Challenges

IT WILL DEFINITELY BE MORE CHALLENGING TO SUSTAIN PROFITABLE SUGARBEET PRODUCTION FOR THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO. Many growers are contemplating cost reduction practices for 2014. Wise cost management changes are always ACCEPTABLE. Costs of production management practices that sacrifice yield are always UNACCEPTABLE! American Crystal’s Cooperative Strategic Operating Plan requires a crop size of about 10.5 million tons to successfully process beets into sugar at the lowest cost per ton possible. Every sugarbeet grower must strive to maximize yield and quality and minimize cost of production per ton. Review the graph below to understand the impact of price per ton and yield on 2014 crop profitability. The graph assumption is an $850 per acre cost of production. Use your own cost of production data.

 Tillage Option

Tillage savings opportunity by planting into a stale seedbed without stand loss. U of MN custom rates bulletin shows a cost savings of about $7/acre.

Fertilizer Management
Starter fertilizer versus Broadcast P fertilizer

11-52-0 $0.47/lb. x 50 lb./acre = $23.50
10-34-0 $2.75/gal. x 3 gal./acre = $8.25
Savings Per Acre $15.25

Insecticide Use

Some growers apply Counter and also use a seed treatment insecticide. Not using the seed treatment will save about $25/acre. If no root maggot pressure you might choose not to use Counter, and go with the seed treatment.

Rhizoctonia Management Strategies

Quadris in furrow or T-band @ 9 oz./acre= $25/acre
Kabina seed treatment = $11.50/acre
Savings Per Acre = $13.50
Headline in-furrow @ 9 oz./acre = $27.00/acre
Kabina seed treatment = $11.50/acre
Savings Per Acre = $15.50

Cercospora Fungicide Strategy
Make This Decision Based On:

  • Weather - monitor NDAWN cercospora data
  • Late planted beets usually have less CLS
  • Variety CLS rating - if the rating is less than 4.5 you might save a spray
  • Careful field monitoring is critical
  • Consultation with your agriculturist is a must

A savings of $15 to $25/acre is possible if you can eliminate one spray

Rhizoctonia Management

Remember Kabina seed treatment does NOT give season long protection. Protection will only last about 4-5 weeks.

Economic assumptions are based on estimated prices for pesticides from the 2014 Sugarbeet Production Guide from North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota.