ISSUE #490

490 - Variety Selection for 2007 Success


Variety selection was a key factor paving the way for the record crop in 2006. Seed companies have developed much improved varieties for disease management in recent years. Impact of rhizomania on yield and quality was finally minimized with about 80% of all acres planted to resistant varieties in 2006. Yield, quality, disease resistance, vigor and emergence potential, revenue per acre and revenue per ton are all critical factors that must influence variety choices. Variety choices must minimize the unique problems sugarbeets will encounter on an individual field basis. Keep in mind the long term history of specific problems on a field-by-field basis as you select varieties for 2007.

Seed Selection Options - Value Verus Cost

Seed companies offer many choices in size, coating options and seed treatments. Growers must decide on those options that overcome or minimize problems encountered on a field by field basis.

  • Seed sizes - Offerings vary by company, new seed plates may be required for some of them. Fewer size choices help keep seed prices lower.

  • Seed priming - Ulti-pro, PAT, and X-beet can enhance speed and uniformity of germination and emergence. Benefits might be greater on lower vigor varieties, ask for university or Ag staff data to help you make a wise decision. Try these seed options on a limited basis at first to see how they might perform on your farm.

  • Tachigaren - It will successfully control or minimize impact of seedling Aphanomyces. Seedling Aphanomyces was more common with the very warm, wet soils during the spring of 2006. Rates of 20 and 45 grams per unit of seed are available. The 20 gram rate does not require a pellet.

Field Specific Variety Selection Criteria

  1. Where rhizomania has been serious grow only highly resistant diploid varieties.
  2. Planned pre-pile or stockpile harvesting.
  3. Field drainage versus disease potential versus varietal disease resistance.
  4. Need for multiple disease resistance.
  5. Weed problems versus high stand establishment ability.
  6. Revenue potential on each field.
  7. N fertility level and variety characteristics.
  8. Soil type versus yield and quality.
  9. Past variety performance on a field.
  10. Distance to piling stations.

Variety Data Available

  • Coded variety trials are the single most important information source
  • Blue Book Grower Practices information
  • Past on-farm variety performance
  • Agriculturists observations
  • Seed company strip trials

NOTE - diseases to be very concerned with valley wide in priority order are: (1) Rhizomania (2) Aphanomyces (3) Cercospora (4) Fusarium (5) Rhizoctonia