ISSUE #412

412 - Planning For Success In 2002


Its been stated often in every walk of life that those who "Fail To Plan In Essence Plan To Fail". Planning for success in 2002 involves many many things. Some planning decisions have been made and implemented. These decisions might include field selection, crop rotation decisions, variety selection and fertilizer application.

Shareholders are bombarded with opportunities to attend meetings of every kind each winter. Several meetings should be "Can't Miss" opportunities for shareholders as they plan for success in 2002.

Winter 2002 "Can't Miss" Activities

"Close The Gap" meetings by American Crystal Sugar Company

  • Watch for local announcements on dates and places.

NDSU/U of Mn Research Reporting Session

  • January 8, Fargo Holiday Inn
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • 20-25 short presentations on every aspect of sugarbeet production

NDSU/U of Mn Grower Seminars

  • January 28, Fargo Holiday Inn
  • February 4, Grand Forks, Ramada Inn
  • February 6, Grafton St. Johns Parish Center

The International Sugarbeet Institute

  • March 13, 14, Alerus Center, Grand Forks

Prevented Planting Acreage Management For 2002

The very heavy rains in May, June and early July prevented shareholders from planting over 50,000 acres of sugarbeets as intended in 2001. Several hundred thousand additional acres of cropland never got planted in 2001. What management concerns did the prevented planting cause as these fields go back into production in 2002?

Soil Fertility Problems - Leaching or denitrification losses of nutrients especially N could have occurred. Some fields may have had high rates of mineralization from organic matter and a buildup of N in the top 2' of the soil profile. Worse yet might be buildup of 2-4' or 4-6' deep N in the soil profile. Deep N buildup presents almost insurmountable problems as shareholders attempt to raise a high quality crop.

It's critical to collect soil samples that reflect the N status in the soil profile. Zone soil sampling will probably best reflect nutrient status in a field. Satellite imagery of the last time a field was in sugarbeet will show how to zone sample the field. If deep N buildup is suspected take a few soil samples from 4' to 6' deep to know how severe the problem might be.

Delayed Planting Problems - Prevented planted fields may be very wet causing delayed planting. Late planted fields require less available N to produce a crop. Consider varieties with above average quality in late planting or excess available N field situations.

Crop Rotation Problems - Corn may yield poorly on prevented-planted acres that were fallowed in 2001. The "fallow syndrome" may result in poor corn growth in May and June and even into July. If planting corn on these fields apply 10 gpa of 10-34-0 as a starter in a 2" x 2" placement method. Some Zinc in addition to the 10-34-0 may be beneficial.

Weed Problems - Heavy weed populations might have went to seed before tillage for fallowing some prevented planting fields. Growers need to plan for additional weed pressure in some of their fields. Flooding may have also introduced new weed species into fields. Monitor seedling weed species carefully to see if hard to kill species like resistant Kochia, Lanceleaf Sage, Waterhemp, Yellow Nutsedge or others are present.

Plant Population Data Conversions

The field stand counts on shareholder field records are based on number of beets present in quality lab samples. These counts are always lower than what shareholders observe in their fields because:

  • Some beets die between canopy closure and harvest
  • Not all beets in fields are lifted
  • Some small beets are removed by pilers
  • Defoliators knock diseased beets out of the row

Dividing your field record stand counts by a factor of 0.72 should closely represent the stand count in a field in late May or June.

Example: Tare lab count of 25,000 beets/A = 34,722 beets/A = 146 beets/100' of row / .72

Ideal stand counts at harvest should range from 140 to 160 beets/100' of row or about 32,500 to 37,500 beets per acre. Lower plant population may decrease crop yield and quality. Higher plant populations may increase harvest losses, make proper defoliation quite difficult and may cause increased storage pile ventilation and cooling problems.

DID YOU KNOW? The American Crystal Sugar Company 5 Year Agreement requires all shareholders to:

  • Complete soil testing on all sugarbeet land and report data to American Crystal Sugar Company
  • Refrain from use of any illegal pesticide
  • Deliver beets with greater than 12% sugar and greater than 80% purity

New Pesticides that have received labels for use in sugarbeets on sugarbeet in 2002 include GEM, a fungicide from Bayer Corporation, and MUSTANG, an insecticide from FMC. Attend "Close The Gap" and university seminars to learn more about how to sucessfully use these products.