ISSUE #368

368  - September and October are crucial times to evaluate


September and October are crucial times to evaluate how well a shareholder is competing in the game of profitable sugarbeet production. Each shareholder needs to compare their yield and quality to local piler district, factory and RRV one and five year averages. Figure one is a somewhat generalized map by township of beet quality in the RRV for the 1998 crop. There are obvious areas of poor quality, average quality and high quality production. Some of the factors effecting quality are controllable, others are not.

Factors Affecting Crop Quality

Rainfall Amount Nitrogen Fertilization
Rainfall Distribution Variety Selection
Temperature Stand Establishment
Growing Degree Days Pest Management
Length of Growing Season Harvest Practices

It’s commonly agreed upon that nitrogen management is the single most important CONTROLLABLE factor determining crop quality and yield. Attention to proven nitrogen management guidelines in September and October will help minimize impact of unfavorable weather on crop yield and quality in 2000. Areas of lowest quality in 1998 had excess rainfall and severe root rot and Cercospora. Coarser textured soils are also often associated with lower quality. Consider reducing nitrogen 10-20 lb./acre on light textured soils.

Nitrogen Management Guidelines

  • Soil test every field 0-4' deep for nitrogen.
  • Set realistic yield goals.
  • Remember about 60 lb./acre of nitrogen is mineralized from organic matter.
  • 80-90 lb./acre available residual plus added fertilizer nitrogen is required in the 0-2 foot depth soil profile for early full canopy development.
  • Adjust nitrogen recommendations if 2-4' depth available nitrogen is above or below 30 lb./acre.

Why? Remember The 120 Why?

Fertilizing to a level of 120 lbs. per acre of available soil test plus added fertilizer nitrogen is a tried and proven true strategy. Many American Crystal shareholders had 1998 yields up to 30 tons per acre "Remembering The 120." Above normal release of nitrogen from high organic matter soils during that long growing season made the high yields achievable.

Recent research involving precision farming practices indicates the "120" may sometimes be too high. More precisely determining soil nitrogen levels by zone sampling and accurately variable rate applying fertilizer may sometimes only require 100 lb./acre available nitrogen for maximum return per acre. Contact your agriculturist for assistance.


368.1Rhizomania has been observed again in many RRV counties in 1999. Disease symptoms commonly observed include fluorescent yellow leaves, with elongated thin petioles, that often stand above unaffected adjacent plants. Root symptoms include smaller than normal roots with a wineglass shape. Extensive proliferation of fibrous or hairy roots is common. A cross section of roots often exhibit a brown to black vascular ring discoloration. Contact your agriculturist for assistance and more information.

NDSU/U of MN Survey

Dr. Alan Dexter, NDSU/U of MN sugarbeet weed Control Specialist will send out his 1999 Production Practice Survey about September 8. Please fill them out and return them ASAP.NDSU/U of MN Survey

Why return the surveys?

  1. Identify problems – like resistant Kochia
  2. Assess success of new practices e.g. microrate use and value
  3. Determine research and education board priorities for research and education
  4. Provide information for special needs e.g. Eminent fungicide registration

Please be sure someone in your operation returns them. They are of significant value to your operation, to ACSC, to your NDSU and U of MN research team.

Aphanomyces Soil Sampling

Soil samples can be taken anytime to determine level of Aphanomyces in your fields. This will provide information to help you decide if you need to use Tachigaren or tolerant varieties in 2000. See your agriculturist for assistance.