ISSUE #468

468 - Production Options For 2005


Numerous production practices need to be evaluated for their practical fit in each sugarbeet production system. Cost to implement a practice, ease of implementation and value or benefit often drive producer decisions to adopt new practices. One such practice is use of starter P fertilizer. It has increased nearly 5 fold since 2000.

Starter Fertilizer Use Nearly 50 percent of all American Crystal Sugar Company growers used starter fertilizer in 2004. Figure one shows the rapid acceptance of this practice in the last five years. Dr. Albert Sims, U of MN, soil scientist has shown without a doubt that 3 gallons of 10-34-0 can be substituted for 45 to 60 lbs/A of P205 without effect on sugarbeet yield. Growers should track change in P test levels so they don't go too low and impact other crops.

Figure 1:


Benefits of Starter Use

  • $5 to $8 savings in P fertilizer cost
  • Increased early season vigor
  • Increased yields 2 or 3 years out of 5

Insect Control for 2005

The sugarbeet root maggot is by far the most serious insect pest of sugarbeet in the Red River Valley. A planting time full rate application of insecticide granules is required for control in Walsh and Pembina counties. High root maggot pressure areas usually require a second application of granules or liquid insecticide near peak fly activity to maximize yields. Other areas of the Red River Valley have experienced low to very low root maggot populations for 5 to 7 years or more. In these areas 7 to 8 lbs per acre of Counter should give good wireworm control and partial springtail control. Very severe wireworm problems caused significant stand loss and even replanting of some fields in 2004. Planting sugarbeet without insecticide is a high risk scenario that is not recommended.

Is Mustang an Option?

Mustang Max is certainly an option for control of wireworms and gives acceptable control of springtails. Mustang Max is definitely not an acceptable product for sugarbeet root maggot control. Growers in those areas predicted to have moderate to severe root maggot pressure in 2005 should not use Mustang Max. See the map on page 57 of the 2005 Sugarbeet Pocket Production Guide for population forecasts.

Figure 2:


Wireworm research was conducted in 2004 near Felton, North Dakota. The data in Figure 2 shows Mustang gave control equal to 10 lbs/acre of Counter applied MIF. Dr. Boetel has duplicated this work at other sites. Mustang +10-34-0 gave equal control to Counter and better control than Lorsban for springtails in 2003 NDSU trials near Kindred.

Benefits of Mustang Use:

  • Very good wireworm control
  • Good springtail control
  • Cost savings of $5 to $7/acre versus granules
  • Can tank mix with 10-34-0 starter
  • Ease of application
  • Lower LD50 insecticide, i.e. safer to use

CAUTION: Be sure equipment used to apply Mustang, or Mustang plus starter is calibrated and stays in calibration.

Fields Most at Risk for Springtails:

  • Heavy textured clay soils
  • High organic matter/crop residues
  • Cool wet springs
  • No planting time insecticide applied

Documented Benefits of Lime Are:

  • Significant improvement in sugarbeet yields on sand syndrome fields
  • Major reduction in severity of Aphanomyces
  • Addition of significant amounts of N, P, and other beneficial plant nutrients
  • Increase in PH in acidic soil areas

Contact your agriculturist for more information about obtaining lime at your American Crystal factory. Lime can be applied this spring, or in the fall ahead of 2006 beets.