ISSUE #425

425 - Prepare For 2003 Challenges Now to “Close the Gap” in Yields


The 2002 growing season has been characterized by one major weather challenge after another. Utilizing best management practices this August, September, and October will minimize lasting impacts of 2002 frost, wind, and flooding. Using beet management practices for tillage, seedbed preparation, and fertilization this fall for the 2003 crop will CLOSE THE GAP between yields actually achieved next year and maximum potential yield opportunity in each field.

Increased On-Farm Profit Opportunities Include:

  • Reduced N fertilization costs for crops following sugarbeet
  • Reduced lodging of the 2003 small grain crop
  • Faster corn dry down in 2003
  • Reduced white mold in 2003 dry beans
  • Improved 2003 sugarbeet crop yield and quality
  • Reduced drown-out in fields

Realize Maximum Crop Potential in 2003

The Precision Farming Program offered by American Crystal features many progressive crop management options, with assistance available from your agriculturist. Contact your agriculturist to learn more about the precision farming management recommendations available at the lowest cost possible.

Assistance is Available for:

  • N credits from satellite imagery
  • Zone soil sampling plans from past beet crop satellite images on fields going into beets in 2003
  • Pinpointing location of poorly drained areas of field for laser leveling to prevent future yield losses

Shareholders have successfully utilized the N credit program on well over 100,000 crop acres following sugarbeets in the last two years.

Load rejections at piling sites are possible, if weeds aren’t controlled properly. Make plans to rent or buy a flail shredder if you have serious weed problems.

Weed Control Necessary Right Now

Why control weeds now? Numerous fields have very serious kochia, lambsquarters, and pigweed problems at this time. These weeds are causing serious yield losses. Harvest of the 2002 crop is only about six weeks away. What can be done to get fully ready to make harvest go as smoothly as possible?

Impacts of Late Season Weeds:

  • Serious yield losses
  • Significant loss of crop quality
  • Heavy weed seed production
  • Difficulty defoliating and harvesting the crop
  • Load rejections during delivery
  • Increased storage losses

Zone soil sampling and variable rate fertilization can increase yield by 1 to 3 tons/acre and increase sugar content by 0.5 to 1.0%.

Solutions to These Problems:

  • Mowing or flail shredding fields to remove weeds above the crop as soon as possible
  • Operating flail shredders ahead of the defoliator

Phosphorous Fertilization in 2003

Research in 2002 at the NWROC at the University of Minnesota at Crookston continues to show that 3 gallons per acre of 10-34-0 starter fertilizer produces yield equal to 60 lbs./acre P2O5. Switching your P management program is a decision you may need to make soon.

Rhizomania Becoming Common

Rhizomania is showing up in many areas of the Red River Valley. Go to the “Pest Alert” section of for more information.