ISSUE #436

436 - Insect Management In 2003


The sugarbeet root maggot continues to be the most serious insect pest in sugarbeets. Yield and quality losses can exceed $200 per acre when root maggot controls are not properly implemented.

SBRM Forecast for the 2003 Growing Season
By Dr. M. Boetel, NDSU

Although SBRM emergence was unusually late during 2002, historical records suggest that neither population level nor emergence timing should be impacted in 2003. Sugarbeet root maggot populations are expected to be mostly low for southern and central portions of the Red River Valley. Infestations are likely to be relatively low on the Minnesota side of the Red River from Sabin north all the way to the U.S./Canadian border. Occasional areas of moderate pressure could occur in the central and northern areas of the Valley. Moderate to high infestations are anticipated in fields between the Grafton/Hoople vicinity in northeastern Walsh County and the Cavalier/Bathgate area in northern Pembina County of northeastern North Dakota. Due to poor performance of soil and foliar-applied insecticides in 2002 in some northeastern North Dakota fields, intermittent pockets with severe infestations are also likely to develop. Proximity of sugarbeet to previous-year beet fields, especially those where insecticide performance was unsatisfactory, can often increase the risk of damaging population levels. It should be clearly understood that significant fly activity is likely for sugarbeets planted adjacently to previous-year beet fields that had moderate to high fly densities and/or substantial maggot feeding pressure. Environmental conditions within the growing season can affect the precision of this forecast.

Root Maggot Control Strategies:

  • Calibrate granular insecticide applicators
  • Use a planting time insecticide application
  • Use wind shields on planters
  • Apply the correct insecticide rate
  • High labeled rates for high pressure areas
  • Post emergence second applications of liquid or granular insecticide if needed
  • Rotary hoe at peak egg laying
  • Don't use Mustang Max for root maggot control as it provides suppression only
  • Reapply insecticide if replanting fields

Recommended Application Rates For Planting-Time Soil Insecticides Based On Expected SBRM Population Level

 Rate (product/ac) within population level 
InsecticideLowModerateHighTiming Options
Counter CR RUP 4.5 lb 7.5 lb 9.0 lb Planting-time or Post
Counter 15G RUP 5.9 lb 10.0 lb 11.9 lb Planting-time or Post
Lorsban 15G 6.7 lb 10.0 lb 13.4 lb Planting-time or Post
Temik 15G RUP 6.7 lb 10.0 lb 14.0 lb Planting-time or Post

RUP - restricted use pesticide

Mustang Max Labeled

Mustang Max has received a 24 © label for use on sugarbeets in Minnesota and North Dakota in March of 2003. These labels are in effect for 5 years or until a full section 3 label is received for Mustang Max.

Mustang Max Use Recommendations:

  • Controls wireworms, cutworms and white grubs
  • For wireworm and white grub apply in furrow or a 3-4 inch T-band at planting
  • For cutworms apply in a 5-7 inch band or broadcast in a minimum of 3-5 gpa
  • Can be tank mixed with 10-34-0
  • Always use tank agitation if mixing with 10-34-0
  • Use with 10-34-0 starter in furrow for wireworm control only
  • Can be tank mixed under cold temperatures with 10-34-0
CropPestUse Rate
Sugarbeets (At Plant) Seedling Pests including:
White Grub
Cutworms species
4.0 oz/A
(o.025 lb ai/A)
Sugarbeets (Foliar) Foliar Pests including:
Cutworms species
Flea Beetle
2.24 - 4.0 oz/A
(0.014 - 0.025 lb ai/A)
Opportunities to Enhance On-Farm ProfitsIncreased Income or Savings on 400 Acres
Gold Standard: Timely weed control to maximize crop potential.  
Eleven-inch band vs. broadcast application of micro rates applied 4x at a broadcast cost of $20/application. $10/acre savings with each application $16,000
Gold Standard: Stand establishment and management "foundation for success."  
Increase plant population by 10 beets/100' of row on all acres because plant stands were less than the optimum harvest population of 180-190beets/100' of row = 1.0 T/acre yield increase at $40/ton. $16,000
Gold Standard: Timely weed control to maximize crop potential.  
Effectively select herbicides to control resistant Kochia on land to be planted to beets in 2004. Enable continued use of micro rates that reduces herbicide costs $20/acre and less beet injury increases yields 0.5T/acre at $40/ton or $20.00/acre. $16,000
Gold Standard: Precision "N" management to maximize net sucrose.  
Reduce N use by 10 lb./acre on 400 acres to be spring fertilized, results in use of 4,000 lbs. less N @ $.18/lb. and 2 lb. more recoverable sugar per ton (1999 Larry Smith research) on a 19T/A crop with a $.22/lb. net selling price of sugar. $4,064
Gold Standard: Timely weed control to maximize crop potential.  
Reduce row crop cultivations by one pass @ a $4.00 cost/acre. $1,600
Gold Standard: Timely weed control to maximize crop potential.  
Save one eleven-inch band herbicide application by substitution of a rotary hoe operations for a net $7.00/acre savings in herbicide costs. $2,800

Obviously all shareholders can't fully take advantage of all these opportunities. Many shareholders may already be using these practices. To influence ON-FARM PROFITABILITY, each shareholder needs to determine which of these opportunities, or others, have the best fit for their operation in 2003.