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589 - Weed Control Specialist Named

Dr. Thomas Peters has accepted a position as Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist for North Dakota State University / University of Minnesota.

The position supports sugarbeet growers in North Dakota and Minnesota. Tom will be collaborating with other faculty and staff, the sugarbeet cooperatives and allied industry on a systems approach for controlling weeds in sugarbeet.

Tom recently retired from Monsanto after nearly 24 years with the company. Most of Tom's career at Monsanto was in the biotech organization where he specialized in corn traits development. Tom returns to NDSU where he obtained his Ph.D. in agronomy, specializing in weed science under the supervision of Dr. Alan Dexter, longtime NDSU/UM sugarbeet weed specialist. Tom grew up on a dairy farm near Sauk Centre in West-Central Minnesota.

Tom received his BS degree from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and his MS degree from Nebraska in 1986.

Tom and his wife, Connie have relocated to Fargo from St. Louis. Tom has several hobbies including following college football, especially the University of Minnesota and hosta gardening. Tom and Connie had over 250 cultivars of hosta in their St. Louis garden including cultivars derived from Tom's breeding program.

Tom's office is in Loftsgard Hall in the Department of Plant Sciences at NDSU. You can contact Tom at 701-231-8131 (office), 218-790-8131 (mobile) or (electronic mail).

Sugarbeet Enemy #1

Aphanomyces devastated beet yields in many fields in the 1980's and 1990's. Use of much more resistant varieties and beneficial effects of liming have greatly reduced losses to Aphanomyces today. Rhizomania caused very serious losses in yield and quality from the late 1990's to about 2010.

Fusarium causes serious losses in Clay County and is expanding into new areas. For 2013 and into the foreseeable future Rhizoctonia will be sugarbeet yield robber #1.

Integrated Rhizoctonia Management Approach Is Best

  • Know the Rhizoctonia severity risk in each field planted to sugarbeet
  • Small grain prior to sugarbeet in rotation will reduce disease severity
  • Use an effective seed treatment fungicide for 4-5 week long disease control. Land grant university specialists nationwide recommend Kabina as the premier seed treatment fungicide
  • Choose varieties with the right level of resistance and excellent revenue on a field by field basis
  • Apply a POST fungicide 4-5 weeks after planting as needed taking into consideration all the above mentioned factors

American Crystal Sugarbeet Pest Alert Smartphone Applications

Go to the applications "store" and download them as desired

  • Soil temperature for Rhizoctonia fungicide timing
  • GDD for application of second insecticide granules for root maggots
  • GDD for peak fly emergence and post emergence insecticide applications
  • Daily infection value alerts for favorable Cercospora development conditions

Pest Alerts Text Messaging Still Available

How Will Shareholders Signup to Receive Pest Alerts?

  • Sign up at
  • Click the Shareholder Records link
  • Enter Username and Password
  • Click the Pest Alert Registration button at the bottom left of the page
  • Select which alerts you want to receive
  • Select which NDAWN stations you wish to receive alerts from (select a maximum of 5 NDAWN stations).
  • Select which cell phone provider you use
  • Designate your cell phone number and provider

Allied Industry Signup

  • Yes - the alerts will also be provided to allied industry
  • You will be emailed a PDF to select the specified alerts you desire
  • You can select a maximum of 5 NDAWN stations
  • Fill in the phone number you want to use, your cell phone provider, and email the spreadsheet back to Kathy Wang at She then will register you to receive the alerts.

Resistant Weed Management

  • Use PPI or PRE ethofumesate if you have significant glyphosate resistant waterhemp problems, especially in Richland, Wilkin, Clay and Cass counties.
  • Use of PRE, Lay-By Dual or Lay-By Outlook is also a lower cost alternative recommendation in the above counties when glyphosate resistant waterhemp is present.