ISSUE #369

369 - Best Management Practices For Harvesting The 1999 Sugarbeet Crop

9-20-1999

Harvesting, storage and processing of the large 1999 crop will be a huge challenge for shareholders, the Agriculture Department and factory operations personnel at American Crystal Sugar Co. Many advances in defoliation and harvesting equipment technology have been made in the last 20 years. Utilizing recommended BMP’s at harvest can increase shareholder "ON FARM PROFIT" by $10, $20, $50 or even $100 per acre. Over one-third of the harvest loss appraisals done by agriculturists in 1998 showed excessive loss of yield was occurring. Contact your agriculturist for assistance, if you suspect your field losses are too high.

BMP's For Defoliators

  • Operate defoliators at 3 mph or less
  • Use studded or steel flails on the front drum after a killing frost
  • Adjust defoliators as you change fields or varieties
  • Flail shredders improve crop quality when used ahead of defoliators especially after a killing frost or with very heavy green canopy
  • Consider scalper use after a hard frost or on high nitrogen fields
  • Replace flails as necessary – they won’t last the life of the frame
  • Don’t defoliate substantial acreage ahead of the harvester

Table 1. Main Effects of Defoliator Ground Speed – Dr. Larry Smith, U of MN, 1989-90

Defoliator Speed (mph) Sucrose (%) SLM (%) Recoverable Sugar (lbs/Ton) 
19.7  1.62  361 
19.4  1.70  354 
19.1  1.81  346 
19.9  1.85  341 
18.5  2.00  330 

BMP's For Harvesting

  • Operate harvesters at 3-4 mph for best results
  • Monitor yield losses – make adjustments if losses exceed about ½ ton/acre
  • Harvest high N fields last
  • Harvest low yield potential fields first
  • Carefully follow heat and frost shutdown policies to improve crop storage
  • Make necessary harvester adjustments as soil conditions change and you switch varieties
  • >Use truck pulls, cables, and ropes safely

369.1

Table 2. Effects of harvester speed on yield and quality. Allan Cattanach and Alan Dexter, NDSU/U of MN, 1991.

Harvest Speed (mph) Sucrose (%) Dirt Tare (%) Root Yield (T/A) Recoverable Sugar (lbs/A) 
18.1  4.5  16.3  5,530 
18.1  5.0  14.9  5,073 

A summary of results of the 1998 Tare Incentive Program by piler district is given in Table 3. Thirty five percent of all fields had tare levels in the "window" with no penalty or premium. Twenty six percent of all fields had penalties totaling $245,026. Thirty nine percent of all fields received premiums totaling $224,742. Red River Valley tare for 1998 averaged 3.05%. Table 4 shows the largest premiums and penalties for the entire Red River Valley in 1998.

Table 4.

Category Greatest Penalty Greatest Premium 
Per Ton  $4.13  $0.31 
Per Field  $2,286  $582 
Per Grower  $2,558  $1,177 

What can shareholders do differently in 1999 to effect tare? If you had higher tare than your piler average in 1998, decide which harvesting BMP’s may be of benefit in 1999.

Precision Farming Service Available From American Crystal Sugar Company

Watch for information this week for shareholders from your local agriculturist about available ACSC Precision Farming ServicesSave up to $10 per acre in nitrogen fertilizer costs for the crop following sugarbeets in rotation. Increase sugarbeet crop yield and quality and on farm profit on these same fields when they are next planted to beets as well. A few growers sucessfully utilized this technology already in 1997. Many, many more used this program to zone fertilize crops following beets in 1998.

Extensive research by Dr. John Moraghan, NDSU and Dr. Larry Smith, The University of Minnesota, provide a solid basis for these Precision Farming Practices. Contact your agriculturist immediately for more information.

NDSU/U of MN Survey

Please fill out and return the survey you recently received from Dr. Alan Dexter.

Distinguished Service Award

Nominations for the award for 1999 are due November 12. Contact your agriculturist for nomination forms and information.

Table 3. Tare Incentive Program – 1998 Crop Analysis By Station

Station 1999 Tare % # of Fields With Penalty Dollar Amount of Penalty # Fields in Window # Fields With Premium Dollar Amount of Premium 
Moorhead  3.55  79  $12,568  149  138  $10,670 
Hitterdal  2.95  28  $2,514  44  44  $2,756 
C-W  3.22  33  $2,210  52  55  $2,306 
Casselton  3.04  24  $6,244  42  51  $4,048 
Kindred  3.68  13  $3,504  50  51  $3,784 
Amenia  3.38  21  $2,772  28  22  $2,168 
Perley  2.89  34  $2,942  67  45  $2,528 
Felton  3.02  61  $6,778  73  94  $7,164 
Sabin  4.07  23  $3,840  90  70  $3,972 
Glyndon  3.74  24  $1,858  53  55  $2,700 
Hillsboro  3.10  130  $20,040  164  187  $14,180
Waukon  2.99  22  $3,276  37  41  $1,872 
Ada West  2.90  24  $2,232  34  39  $2,486 
Ada North  3.08  44  $3,764  48  66  $3,520 
Midway  2.95  28  $4,804  57  48  $5,158 
Reynolds  2.87  89  $9,696  85  52  $5,902 
Crookston  3.16  163  $27,648  178  245  $21,766 
Nielsville  2.91  30  $4,042  33  39  $3,906 
Eldred  2.80  23  $3,190  38  50  $3,594 
Scandia  2.66  41  $3,496  34  41  $3,310 
E.G.F.  3.09  148  $18,746  177  215  $21,618 
Ardoch  3.09  47  $6,594  52  72  $5,584 
Voss  2.82  25  $2,334  25  41  $2,572 
Oslo  2.67  27  $2,480  30  34  $1,972 
Warren  2.77  36  $3,528  39  42  $2,728 
Argyle  2.49  48  $4,972  52  58  $4,332 
O'Meara  <3.16  44  $6,154  46  68  $6,036 
Alvarado  2.40  44  $3,638  43  62  $3,994 
Drayton  3.18  143  $23,654  237  250  $20,758 
McArthur  2.62  31  $3,352  50  45  $4,306 
Bathgate  3.07  74  $6,148  61  67  $5,674 
Hamilton  2.91  51  $7,142  77  74  $6,734 
Nash  3.26  21  $2,232  32  31  $2,518 
Grafton  2.78  47  $3,666  59  42  $3,468 
Humboldt  2.57  49  $5,624  54  75  $4,984 
Stephen 2.91 42 $5,638  48  63  $5,606 
St. Thomas 3.45 78 $7,730  110  101  $9,310 
Kennedy 2.76 42 $3,976  65  71  $4,758 

Information summarized by Ron Ellingson