ISSUE #449

449 - Successful 2004 Crop Planning Starts Now

Producing the very best crop possible at the lowest possible cost should be a primary goal for all growers in 2004. Taking advantage of educational opportunities is one of two major steps to success in 2004. The second step is thoroughly analyzing what went right and wrong on each field in 2003. One ton more yield or a .25% increase in sugar will add $40-50/acre to beet crop revenue.

Educational Opportunities For 2004:

Sugarbeet MBA - Making Bottom-line Advancements Seminar Series

  • Fargo Holiday Inn - Jan. 27 & 28
  • Grand Forks Ramada Inn - Feb. 3 & 4
  • Grafton Parish Center - Feb. 19 & 20

These seminars are the most comprehensive program offering on sugarbeet production ever made available to growers and Allied Industry in Minnesota and North Dakota. Limited space is available with preregistration recommended. Brochures and registration materials are available from your agriculturist. Call Marilyn at 701-231-8881 to pre-register. Topics included in this seminar are listed on the opposite side of this Ag Notes.

Close The Gap III

Agriculturists from each district will conduct many Close The Gap III sessions in each factory district. Take advantage of these opportunities in your local area.

The International Sugarbeet Institute

About 130 exhibitors will be at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on March 10 and 11. This is a great opportunity to compare almost any product and service needed by a sugarbeet grower all in one place at one time.

Eight Agronomic Practices of Highly Successful Sugarbeet Growers:

  • Chooses best revenue per acre varieties for each field.
  • Prepares an ideal seedbed and plants into it with a well adjusted planter.
  • Plants early to maximize yield.
  • Establishes a plant population of 180-190 beets/100' of 22" row.
  • Controls weeds early and season long.
  • Optimizes soil fertility management by field.
  • Maximizes disease control usually with 3 or 4 fungicide applications.
  • Follows best management practices for defoliation and harvesting.

Top 10 Business Management Habits of Successful Red River Valley Producers:

  • They are production driven to grow more per acre.
  • They have good expense control and low per unit production costs.
  • They sell their products for a premium price i.e. above average sugarbeet crop quality.
  • They are exceptionally well informed. Use internet; go to meetings, read extensively.
  • They run a simple management system. Are timely with production practices.v
  • They do not overcapitalize especially on machinery.
  • They set goals, plan and achieve well thought out objectives. Eighty-seven percent have clear written business goals and review them annually.
  • They have a good grasp of their financial affairs. The best managers are computerized or use a well designed manual account system.
  • They are prepared to take risks and can cope with debt.
  • They thoroughly enjoy what they do and rarely consider an alternative vocation.

Common Characteristics of These Producers:

  • They farm only medium and highly productive land.
  • Seventy-three percent of farmed land had good drainage.
  • One-hundred percent used laser ditching.
  • They farm a high percent of acreage to row crops.

This information is adapted from records of farmers across northwest Minnesota enrolled in Northland Colleges Farm Business Management Program. Thanks to Dale Hildebrant of the Farm and Ranch Guide for use of much of this information from the December 26, 2003 issue.

Topics for Sugarbeet MBA Grower Seminars:

These seminars are a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn more about sugarbeet production from seed to field, to storage pile, to sugar in the bag.

  1. Laying the Foundation for a Successful Crop - Tillage, Planters, Residue Management
  2. How to Improve Drainage and Salinity
  3. Banding 10-34-0 Technology - The Final Chapter on Starter Use
  4. N Fertilizer and Crop Residue Interactions - Impacts on Yield
  5. Strategies to Improve Production Maintaining a Healthy Late Season Canopy With Fungicides
  6. Fungicide Resistance Management - Strategies to Keep Fungicides Effective
  7. Managing Sugarbeet Diseases
  8. Weed Management and Dual use in 2004 - Better Timing of Herbicide use
  9. Insect Management in 2004
  10. How to Harvest Everything You Grow - Best Management Practices and New Tools
  11. Impact of Root Diseases on Storage - Don't Lose Your Profit in the Piles
  12. Impact of Agronomic Practices on Processing and On-Farm Profit
  13. How to Find and Utilize Internet Information
  14. Management Practices used by the Top 50 Producers (growing units) in 2003