ISSUE #458

458 - Monitor Fields Carefully For New Disease


Careful monitoring of fields to identify production problems now pinpoints management strategies to avoid the same problems in 2005. One example is scouting for incidence and severity of diseases. Fusarium a root disease is relatively new to the Red River Valley. It's most serious in the Moorhead district, but has been found in all factory districts. Careful field monitoring will indicate if Cercospora is under control, if Rhizomania is present, if your Zone N management has resulted in uniform 2004 canopy development and how the crop is progressing.. Future beet crop profitability demands past profit robbing practices not be repeated in the future.

Fusarium Incidence and Severity

Fusarium Yellows is a soil borne fungi first identified in the Red River Valley in the mid 1990's. It will cause significant yield loss on a few thousand acres in the Moorhead district in 2004. Take time to review the bulletin on "Fusarium Yellows of Sugarbeet" included with this Ag Notes. Photos of fields with the disease can also be viewed at Go to agronomy then Ag Tools and then to Pest Alert.

Cercospora Leafspot

Warm nights, heavy dews, and high humidity have all been conducive to Cercospora leafspot development. Initiation of fungicide application has been timely for most fields. NDAWN weather information has shown several moderate and occasionally severe infection periods. Check out this advisory information from the weather station nearest your farm. Again go to the "Pest Alert" site.

American Crystal grower practices data shows three and four sprays nearly always increase profitability. If in doubt about need for a third or fourth spray remember its been documented that there is a substantial benefit from late August or September fungicide applications by increasing photosynthesis, frost tolerance and final crop yield and quality even if Cercospora severity is relatively low.


Rhizomania Alert:

This disease appears to be much more prevalent in 2004. Scout for it and plant resistant varieties as needed in 2005.

Prepare for Sugarbeets in 2005

After Grain Harvest is the Perfect Time to Prepare for Next Year's Sugarbeet Crop

Think of your field's fertility, in zones. Utilize American Crystal Sugar Company's extensive satellite image archive of the last time your field was planted to sugarbeets. We can provide you with zone maps based on that previous year's satellite image. Once you have defined the zones within your field, soil sample according to each zone. Does the variability still exist? If more than 15-20 pounds of variation of soil nitrogen exists between zones, variable rate apply nitrogen instead of conventional spreading.

Utilize Zone Management for Increased Revenue

American Crystal Sugar Company data from the last seven years, suggests $45 per acre increased revenue for growers who utilize zone management. Also, the acreage involved in zone management practices has nearly tripled in the last three years. 83,100 acres was zone soil tested for the 2004 beet crop. Be a part of this increasing trend when preparing for the 2005 beet crop.


Save $10 Per Acre

When preparing for next years small grain crop, don't forget to utilize beet top nitrogen credits. As soon as your beet crop has been harvested, apply fertilizer for next year's grain crop based on satellite imagery of the beet canopy. Offset the rising cost of fertilizer by applying nitrogen only where it's needed. You can cut your input cost of nitrogen by using zone management. American Crystal Sugar Company can provide you with a zone map to variable rate apply your nitrogen for next year's wheat or barley crop. Last years average fertilizer savings was $10.80 per acre, for utilizing beet top nitrogen credits.

Visit the Shareholder Access section of our site for a complete archive of satellite images. Ask your precision ag retailer crop consultant or your agriculturist to get started.