ISSUE #476

476 - Variety Selection – Seeding Success For 2006


Selecting the right variety for each field is critical to maximizing revenue and on-farm profit in 2006. Yield, quality, vigor, disease resistance, revenue per acre and per ton are critical factors that must influence variety choices. Planting susceptible varieties in fields with severe Rhizomania resulted in yield losses of up to 50% in 2005. Yield loss due to Aphanomyces was severe where resistant varieties were not used. Stand loss due to Aphanomyces greatly increased weed pressure and herbicide and labor costs. Variety selection must be specific for problems specific to each field. Don’t buy varieties and then try to fit them to a field.

Field Specific Variety Selection Criteria

  1. Revenue potential on each field
  2. Where rhizomania is very serious grow only highly resistant diploid varieties
  3. Need for multiple disease resistance
  4. Weed problems versus high stand establishment ability
  5. Field drainage versus disease potential versus varietal disease resistance
  6. N fertility level
  7. Soil type versus yield and quality
  8. Planned pre-pile or stockpile harvesting


Internet Tools Available

Shareholders can access several decision making tools on the American Crystal Sugar Company website at These customized tools provide insight into making best variety choices for each field.

  • Rhizomania Variety Resistance Calculator
    • Go to Agronomy and Ag Tools then Ag Calculators. This application will help the user determine which type of Rhizomania resistant variety to use.
  • Seed Calculator
    • By filling in the required data in the shaded boxes this application will determine how much seed to purchase for a field or the entire farm next year.
  • Variety and Freight Calculator
    • This decision making tool incorporates freight rates for piling stations versus tonnage or sugar type variety yields into wise decisions based in part on hauling costs.
  • Official Coded Trials Data
    • The 2005 official trial data will be available in mid November. It's quick and easy to review data online. Be sure to review the Rhizomania Coded Variety Trial Data.
  • Sugarbeet Variety Selector
    • This Internet tool will help growers narrow down variety selection choices to those most suited to past production history for an individual field. Suggested variety choices are likely to increase on-farm profit.

Variety Data Available

  1. Coded variety trials are most important
  2. Blue Book Grower Practices information
  3. Past on-farm variety performance 4. Agriculturists observations
  4. Seed company strip trials

NOTE – diseases to be very concerned with valley wide in priority order are: (1) Rhizomania (2) Aphanomyces (3) Cercospora (4) Rhizoctonia and (5) Fusarium Cost Effective Nitrogen Management Considerations

Cost Effective Nitrogen Management Considerations

  • Soil testing is the critical first step 
  • Zone soil testing is more important than ever 
  • Zone variability of 10 to 15 pounds justifies variable rate application with costly N. 
  • Late soil sampled fields with heavy small grain regrowth will make your N recommendation 40, 50 or 60 lbs/acre too high 
  • N credits from beet tops for crops following sugarbeet are worth $10 to $30/acre 
  • Apply the correct pounds of nitrogen per acre for 2006 – be sure you and your fertilizer dealer speak the same language about pounds and units of N