ISSUE #389

389 - The 2000 Crop Year in Review


The 2000 sugarbeet crop was one of the best on record for American Crystal Sugar Company shareholders. Congratulations to all shareholders on a crop yielding 21.6 T/A with a 17.74% sucrose content, a 1.33% loss to molasses and 3.12% tare. This crop truly represents “Gold Standard Performance” by shareholders and agriculturists working together to grow it. Accolades to all shareholders, the HMS staff, agriculturists and Express Personnel for the efficient rapid harvest and stockpiling the crop in very good condition.

Frequently Asked Questions About the 2000 Growing Season

Q1. Why were final yields the second highest per acre in company history? 

A1. The excellent 2000 yields were mainly due to planting over 95% of the crop in April, achieving good to excellent stand establishment in most fields with generally adequate rainfall and good stored soil moisture.?

Q2. What factors contributed most to the very good quality of the crop?

A2. Early planting, excellent stands and continued refinement of nitrogen management strategies by shareholders contributed greatly to the quality crop.

Q3. Why did many fields “yellow off” too early with resultant loss in potential yield?

A3. Early “yellowing” was primarily due to high plant populations, early planting, proper nitrogen management strategies and dry conditions in late summer. Keep in mind canopy yellowing was probably most extensive in the Crookston district where yields and quality were both higher than in any other district (see Figure 1&2). Its unlikely yield potential was not realized on nearly all fields.

Figure 1: 


Figure 2: 


Q4. What pest management practices were most successful this year?

A4. Early season weed control was very effective throughout the RRV. Drayton shareholders effectively controlled some of the highest root maggot populations ever, properly using planting time insecticides and well timed post planting insecticide applications.

Q5. Which pest management practices could have been done better in 2000?

A5. Many fields experienced serious late season weed problems that reduced yields (one more microrate application was probably needed). Cercospora leafspot exceeded economic loss levels in hundreds of fields in late August and September due to improper use of fungicides.

Q6. Why was rhizoctonia root rot more widespread and severe in 2000?

A6. Most likely factors increasing rhizoctonia problems were 1) shorter rotations 2) more susceptible crops in rotations (especially beans) 3) cultivations when fields were too wet 4) little resistance in many varieties and 5) weather suitable for rhizoctonia development.

Q7. Do growers have management options available to reduce severity of localized aphanomyces root rot epidemics?

A7. Impact of aphanomyces on yield and quality was dictated in large measure by extended periods of warm wet weather. However improved field drainage, use of Tachigaren seed treatment and use of varieties with good disease tolerance greatly improve yield and quality expectations. Coded variety trial data from selected root rot infested sites should be carefully reviewed prior to seed purchases for 2001.

Q8. Are nitrogen fertilizer recommendations being reduced too far to maintain crop yields?

A8. Extensive research at the University of Minnesota by Dr. Larry Smith and American Crystal Sugar Company Grower Practices System records continue to support, “Remember the 120 or LESS” recommendations for the 2001 crop. (See figure 2).

Surveys Needed

Please be sure to return the production practice survey sent to you in September by Dr. Dexter, NDSU/U of MN Extension Sugarbeet Specialist.

Share Posting

Shareholders are advised to watch for the new shareholder accessible only feature titled “Share Posting”. This will provide an opportunity to put buyers and sellers of shares in contact with each other.