ISSUE #451

451 - 2003 American Crystal Sugar Company Losses To Weeds Go Down

Achieving excellent weed control is critical to producing a high yielding crop each year. Once the crop is planted as early as possible and excellent stands established nothing is more important to successful sugarbeet production than implementation of a cost effective weed control program. Weed control in 2003 was substantially improved over the previous 2 years resulting in 23% less revenue loss than in 2002, Table 1.

Table 1: Economic Impact of Weed Control to American Crystal Sugar Company*

 Weed Control Rating% of Acres Reported$/Acre LossTotal Revenue Lost Million $
  2002 2003   2002 2003
Poor 4 1 160 3.2 1.6
Fair 24 15 80 9.6 6.0
Good 54 53 40 10.8 10.6
Excellent 18 21 0 0 0
Total Revenue Losses 23.6 18.2

* Based on NDSU survey by Dr. Alan Dexter

Economic losses due to poor weed control are extremely high. Research by Dr. Alan Dexter has shown that poor pigweed control can result in revenue losses up to nearly $300 per acre, Figure 1.


Why Was Weed Control Better in 2003?

  • Early planting
  • Higher plant populations
  • Timely herbicide applications
  • Increased use of soil applied herbicides

Value of Soil Applied Herbicides:

  • PPI and PRE applications in place before weeds emerge
  • Improved micro rate performance
  • Weed control in place if rain and wind interfere with POST applications
  • Maximizes Kochia and other "tough" weed control
  • Might save a POST application
  • Can mix with PRE Roundup use

Dual Magnum Use in 2004:

Dual Magnum use as a PPI or PRE application will change for 2004. The Beet Sugar Development Foundation will act as a third party registrant for a 24c Indemnifiable label for Dual Magnum. Growers must sign-off on all product liability before they can use Dual Magnum as a PPI or PRE application. Dual Magnum can still be used as a layby without signing 24c forms.

How The 24c Dual Magnum Label Will Work:

  • Get forms from agriculturist or ag office coordinator
  • Sign forms before notary public
  • Return forms to agriculturist or ag office coordinator
  • Receive 24c labels for PRE or PPI use
  • Forms sent to BSDF by American Crystal Sugar Company
  • Forms should be available in early March from American Crystal Sugar Company.

Nortron* or Dual Magnum - How Do They Compare?

CharacteristicsNortron*Dual Magnum
 Crop injury  None  None to severe depends on weather, etc.
 Carryover  Slight to small grain  None
 Pigweed control  Good to excellent  Fair to excellent
 Kochia control  Good to excellent  Fair to good
 Pigeongrass control  Fair to good  Good to excellent
 Cost  Expensive - must band  Moderate cost
 Layby required  No  Yes

*Generic products Etho SC and Ethotron available in 2004.

Help Available: Contact your agriculturist, crop consultant or Dr. Alan Dexter for answers to weed control questions.

Kochia Control Strategies - For Maximum Control

Kochia is the most competitive weed in sugarbeets. Colorado research indicated one large Kochia plant per 200 foot of row can cause up to a 5% yield loss. Kochia replaced pigweed for only the second time in 27 years as the worst sugarbeet weed problem in Minnesota and North Dakota in the annual NDSU survey.

Steps To Successful Kochia Control:

  • Control in rotational crops/shelter belts/ditches
  • Use pre-emerge roundup or Gramoxone
  • Use hard cold steel when necessary - hand labor still important
  • Pre-emerge Nortron / Etho SC / Ethotron use is essential
  • Apply at planting or prior to weed emergence
  • Use 6.0 to 6.75 pts. According to soil texture
  • Kochia is a cool season weed, but more seems to grow later in the season now
  • Use conventional rates post emergence not microrates

Table 3: Efficacy of microrates, conventional rates and Nortron for Kochia control.

 Treatment 6 Loc Sugb Inj % 4 Loc Rrpw Cntl % 3 Loc Koc Cntl % $/A Banded
 Micro-Rate (4X)  7  77  46  44
 Conventional Rate (3X)  11  76  73  66
 Nortron (Pre) +M-R (4X)  9  86  75  56
 Nortron (Pre) + C-R (3X)  11  87  84  78
 LSD (0.05)  3  5  8  

Courtesy of Dr. Alan Dexter

Bad in 2003: Sixty-one percent of all growers listed Kochia as the most serious weed in 2003. Northern Red River Valley growers face even more serious Kochia problems.

Kochia Resistance: Assume all Kochia is resistant to Upbeet.

42nd Annual International Sugarbeet Institute:

  • March 10, 11, 2004 - Alerus Center - Grand Forks, ND
  • 100,000 square feet of exhibits
  • Over $3,000,000 of equipment on display
  • Luther, Markwart, American Sugar Growers Association
  • Trade Agreements and U. S. Sugar Policy

New At 2004 ISBI:

See the new 12 row harvester and many other new exhibits. ISBI features the latest innovations in precision agriculture shown by many new exhibitors.