ISSUE #479

479 - Research Points the Way to Profitability


The sugarbeet industry today is in part highly successful because of investments in agronomy and storage research. The check-off funds from the three Minnesota and North Dakota sugarbeet cooperatives have been wisely invested by the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board.

Major accomplishments include 1) the herbicide microrate program 2) the ridge till system for sugarbeets 3) successful use of higher plant populations 4) evaluation and registration of Headline, Eminent and GEM 5) improved defoliation practices 6) widespread planter test stand use and 7) minimizing the impact of root diseases on sugar losses in storage.

Each year every researcher receiving grower check-off funds is required to give an oral report on his research progress. This is done at the annual Research Reporting Session held early each January. Researchers are also required to publish their research results in the annual "Sugarbeet Research and Extension Reports". The reports are distributed each winter to growers and allied industry.

2005 Research Highlights


  1. Lime applications can definitely increase phosphorus soil test levels
  2. Soil test nitrogen values the same after cropping with Rhizomania resistant or susceptible varieties
  3. Banded in-furrow P can replace broadcast applications

Cultural Practices:

  1. Tile drainage increased RSA by 300 to 500 pounds at Crookston
  2. Proper Headline application increased yields even when no Cercospora was present

Disease Management:

  1. Amistar greatly reduced stand and Recoverable Sugar Per Acre losses from Rhizoctonia root rot
  2. Soil temperature or GDD (Growing Degree Days) are the best guide for timing Amistar application
  3. Cercospora spores survived on the soil surface for 31 months, but disappeared after 22 months when buried by tillage
  4. Rhizomania "blinker" beets lose 61% of their root weight compared to healthy beets
  5. Cercospora resistance to fungicides is low in most areas in 2005
  6. Sugarbeet and potato can both be infected by the same Verticillium Wilt disease
  7. More highly resistant Rhizomania varieties needed if disease pressure is severe
  8. Much more information needed on which Fusarium species damage beets in Minnesota and North Dakota
  9. Liming reduces Aphanomyces

479.2                479.3

Liming Effect on Aphanomyces                       Early Season Fusarium
and Growth

Weed Control:

  1. GDD shows promise for timing herbicide applications
  2. Research comparing spray air and conventional sprayer inconclusive
  3. Layby Dual and Outlook increased Kochia control in 2005

Insect Management:

  1. Vydate insecticide shows great promise for root maggot control
  2. Sugarbeet stand loss reduced with new insecticides being evaluated
  3. Root maggot biological control efforts prove difficult


Each acre of sugarbeet planted generates about $4,000 in total business activity.

Find Out More

Several opportunities will be available for growers to learn more about each of these topics.

Plan to attend one of four NDSU/U of MN seminars. Read about these research projects in the annual Research and Extension Reports or on the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board website