ISSUE #475

475 - 2005 Crop Offers Lessons For 2006 Crop


The 2005 crop will be harvested in a few short weeks. Problems being experienced in 2005 are sending clear signals to any grower listening for 2006. Messages are very clear about weed control, stand establishment, root rot and variety selection. Review exactly what has happened in your fields this year then plan changes that will minimize cost and maximize profit in 2005.

Q. What has this crop said about variety selection?

A. Soil borne root diseases have been very prevalent especially Rhizomania and Aphanomyces. Rhizomania incidence and severity has increased dramatically in EVERY factory district. Choose varieties in 2005 with excellent disease resistance and high revenue per acre. Choose varieties to fit specific problems of each field.

Q. What does the 2005 crop tell us about weed control in 2006?

A. It has clearly shown that high plant populations greatly reduce late season weed populations. Soil applied herbicides especially preemerge Nortron (or its generics) gave excellent weed control when wet weather made timely Post spraying very difficult. Using GDD to time herbicide applications was successful for many growers also.

Good Stands Equal Good Weed Control


Q. What does the 2005 crop say about root rots?

A. Aphanomyces was widespread in early summer but a very dry July and early August greatly reduced active rotting and field abandonment losses. Selection of varieties with excellent resistance paid dividends.

Fusarium can be found in all factory districts. Growers in the Moorhead district need varietal resistance in particular. Short rotations greatly increase the severity of Fusarium infections. Four year rotation will significantly reduce Fusarium.

Rhizoctonia can be found in most fields but usually at a fairly low level. Rhizoctonia is much worse in fields that were cultivated when wet in late June or early July. Avoid soil movement into beet crown areas in early summer to avoid problems with this disease. Fields rotary hoed when wet also had increased Rhizoctonia problems.

Rhizomania was much more wide spread and more severe in all districts in 2005. Resistant variety use must increase in 2006. Moderately resistant varieties must no longer be planted in some piler districts in 2006. Check with your Agriculturist about where to use moderately or highly resistant varieties for each field next year.

Figure 1, 2, & 3 Typical Rhizomania Symptoms


Q. What does the 2005 crop tell us about fertility management?

A. Some fields were damaged by excess standing water and developed a dull yellow color as a result. Root growth was often poor in these fields. Yellowing in the majority of fields was not due to lack of nitrogen. In some fields leaching or loss of nitrogen by denitrification may have caused a true nitrogen shortage. The bright yellow fluorescent color is due almost entirely to Rhizomania. Compare yield and quality data field-by- field after harvest to see if RSA or RST was affected by nitrogen management.

Nitrogen fertilizer recommendations are working well in most fields. Disease problems can't be cured by adding more nitrogen. Don't over apply nitrogen for 2006 until 2005 results are in. If after study of the 2005 harvest data a need for more nitrogen is indicated, side dress it next spring.

Phosphorus starter fertilizer gave excellent responses in most fields in 2005. No fall broadcast phosphorus will be needed if at plant banded starter P will be used in 2006.

Q. What messages about drainage has mother nature sent loud and clear in 2005?

A. The value of having well drained fields can't be overestimated. Benefits of excellent drainage are 1) better stands 2) early planting 3) less root rot 4) more timely weed control 5) better harvesting and 6) more on-farm profit. Well drained land makes every other production decision more successful.

Contact your Agriculturist to get an analysis of water damaged acres in 2005 and associated yield loss. Excellent satellite images from July and late August can show extent of crop loss in 2005.

Harvest Tools to Use

To aid growers in making best management harvest choices American Crystal Sugar Company has made many tools available. These tools have been distributed by the Ag staff and given out at meetings. They are also available on our site in the Gold Standards Harvest section

Check Out The:

  • Harvester slide rule
  • Harvester checklist
  • Gator
  • Harvest Loss Appraisal forms
  • Harvest brochure

Want To Save $15/Acre?

Nitrogen fertilizer costs are extremely high right now. Utilize beet top satellite imagery to give credits for nitrogen in beet tops, thus reducing fertilizer N use on crops after beets.