ISSUE #446

446 - "Close the Gap" Even More in 2004


Precision N management to maximize crop quality without sacrificing yield is the natural place to start. Two distinct management options are available to manage N in sugarbeet crop rotations more effectively. These management options are the first place to look to narrow the gap between yield achieved versus yield potential.

Zone Soil Sampling For 2004 Beets:

Many many growers have requested satellite imagery of their 2004 fields the last time they were in beets. These images clearly delineate zones for soil sampling this fall. Ask your agriculturist for assistance.

N Credits For Crops Following 2003 Beets:

Satellite images of 2003 beet fields can be used to give N credits to crops after beets in 2004. The N credit system works for not only wheat after beets, but corn, soybeans, dry beans and any other crop normally fertilized with nitrogen. Ask your agriculturist for assistance.

Weed Control in 2004 Could Start Now:

The Dual Magnum herbicide label allows for fall application for 2004 weed control. Some growers had crop injury problems with spring applied Dual Magnum in 2003. However many more growers had little or no crop injury and very good weed control with Dual Magnum in 2003.

Fall Applied Dual Use Suggestions:

  • Apply when the 4" soil temperature is at 55° F or less and falling.
  • If soil organic matter is 2.5% or greater use 1.67 to 2.0 pints/acre on medium textured soils and 2.0 pints/acre on heavy textured soils.
  • Incorporate to a depth of 2-3 inches running a tillage tool about 4 inches deep.
  • Incorporate ASAP after application - sunlight causes degradation of Dual Magnum.
  • Don't apply to frozen soil.
  • Incorporation of Dual may increase soil erosion on fields susceptible to wind erosion.

Dual Questions and Answers:

Q. Is fall application of Dual Magnum risk free?

A. No, but fall applied Dual Magnum has much less risk for crop injury than spring applied Dual Magnum.

Q. How can I reduce risk of crop injury?

A. Reduce use rate on lower organic matter and light textured soils. Plant 5-10% more seed per acre to ensure good stand establishment.

Q. Will fall applied Dual Magnum give me effective weed control?

A. Fall applied Dual Magnum has not always given weed control as good as spring Applications, but control is often very good.

Q. Will I be able to use Dual Magnum as a preplant incorporated (PPI) or preemergence treatment in 2004?

A. Syngenta representatives have indicated that if Dual Magnum is available in 2004 it will probably only be legal to use it as a POST layby treatment.

Ethofumesate Use in 2003 and Carryover to 2004:

  • Broadcast applications of Ethotron, Etho SC, or Nortron for sugarbeets in 2003 may cause noticeable injury to 2004 small grains planted on 2003 sugarbeet fields.
  • Northern and southern Red River Valley areas were extremely dry in July, August, and September of 2003. These conditions definitely increase likelihood of carryover in 2004.
  • Randomly collect soil from ethofumesate treated fields in 2003 then plant beets in the soil to observe evidence of herbicide carryover concern to susceptible crops in 2004.
  • Corn, soybeans and sunflower should not be damaged if planted to fields treated with Band applied Ethotron, Etho SC or Nortron in 2004.
  • Nortron, Ethotron and Etho SC can be band applied in the fall. However, a system must be in place to plant beets in the center of these fall applied bands next spring.

Soil Sampling Depth and N Fertilizer Recommendations:

The NDSU/U of MN recommendations for N use on sugarbeet are based on soil sampling to a depth of 48 inches. A high percentage of commercial soil samplers only sample to a 42" depth. Agvise soil testing lab does not adjust N fertilizer recommendations for less than 48" sample depths. Nitrogen fertilizer use may be excessive and cause reduced crop quality in 2004 if no adjustments are made. High subsoil levels of residual N can lead to serious over fertilization if not accounted for properly.

Review 2003 Harvest:

Now is the time to look back at the 2003 harvest and review what went right or wrong. Document those problems encountered and develop solutions before the 2004 harvest.

Questions to Ask Might Include:

  • What field harvest loss occurred and why? Many fields had 2 to 5 tons losses in 2003.
  • How can defoliation be improved?
  • Should new harvest equipment be purchased?
  • Would use of a flail shredder have been of benefit?

2004 Variety Selection:

Be sure to review all available data carefully before making your final seed selection decisions.

Few Weedy Loads:

A special thanks is deserved by nearly all shareholders for delivery of very few weeds during the 2003 harvest. A limited number of loads were rejected due to excess weeds this year.