ISSUE #488

488 - Managing Costly N Fertilizer to Maximize Profit


Achieving successful nitrogen management is critical to maximizing on-farm profit from your 2007 crop. Optimizing quality with the new high yielding varieties requires more attention to detail than ever when planning your N management strategies. Objectives of N management should be to 1) maximize yield 2) maximize sugar content 3) minimize SLM and 4) manage fertilizer cost. N management must be done on a field by field basis to be successful.

Factors Influencing N Management

  • Residual soil test N
  • Variety yield and quality characteristics
  • Soil type
  • Past field history
  • Conventional or precision N management practices


Zone N Management Increases In Popularity

Use of zone soil testing and variable rate N application has increased nearly 6 fold since 2003. Zone management has increased grower revenue by $24 per acre, figure 1.


Why the “Big" Crop in 2006?

  • New varieties with high yield potential
  • Excellent available stored soil water
  • Early planting
  • Establishment of high plant populations
  • Above average GDD, especially for early row closure
  • Grower adoption of agronomy gold standard best management practices
  • Improved harvest practices
  • Plant health benefits with fungicide use
  • Rhizomania impact was reduced with new varieties
  • Very little Aphanomyces
  • Generally good weed control
  • No drown out areas

Congratulations on raising the biggest crop in American Crystal Sugar Company history.

Get Help Now

Contact your American Crystal Sugar Company agriculturist, crop consultant or fertilizer dealer about zone fertility management for better on-farm profit.

Finished Field Reports Needed

It’s critical every grower notify scalehouse personnel when the last load is lifted on each field during the full stockpile period in 2006. This will help the Ag Department be as accurate as possible when deciding whether all beets can be harvested in 2006 or not.