ISSUE #515

515 - Variety Selection For 2009


Once your field selection and fall fertilization and tillage have been completed growers must choose varieties for 2009. During my ten years at American Crystal Sugar Company variety selection decisions seem to be happening earlier and earlier each year. In the rush to secure Roundup Ready® seed for 2008 many variety choices were made with limited coded trial data. High pressure seed sales tactics contributed to this situation. Growers are strongly encouraged to postpone 2009 seed orders until 2008 variety field performance can be verified and coded trial data is available. If ordering early keep your options open to change your selection as more data becomes available.

Variety selection mistakes observed in 2008 will severely impact yield and quality in some fields. Problems were:

  • Planting very poor Rhizoctonia resistance varieties in bad Rhizoctonia fields
  • Choosing Roundup Ready® varieties without Fusarium resistance in Clay county
  • Choosing conventional varieties for very bad Kochia fields where Roundup Ready® varieties were needed
  • Too little regard for vigor, emergence and seed germination variety data
  • Choosing the Roundup Ready® variety trait instead of Aphanomyces tolerance for some fields

Variety Selection Criteria

  • Revenue per acre
  • Disease resistance
  • Stand establishment ability
  • Harvestability
  • Seed treatment option availability

Poncho-B Approved for 2009

Poncho-B insecticide seed treatment has been approved for use in 2009. Dr. Mark Boetel, NDSU Sugarbeet Entomologist has conducted extensive testing on root maggots, wireworms, and springtails for many years. Growers need to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of Poncho-B before using it on their seed in 2009.

Characteristics of Poncho-B Insecticide

  • Effective on wireworms
  • Effective on springtails
  • Equivalent to about 9 lbs. of Counter for root maggot control
  • Convenient handling as a seed treatment
  • Safer product to handle than Counter or Lorsban granules

Other Important Considerations for Poncho-B

  • Much more expensive than Mustang Max
  • More expensive than Counter and Lorsban
  • Better crop safety depending on choice of granule application method
ProductSeed SpacingCost Per Acre *
Counter 15G (9#) 5" $15
Lorsban 15G (10#) 5" $13
Mustang Max (4 oz.) 5" $5
Poncho-B 5" $26
Poncho-B 4.5" $29

* Counter, Lorsban and Mustang Max prices from 2007 Grower Cost Benchmarking Study, Poncho-B from projected cost of product for 2009.

Be Safe on the Farm, at the Piling Station, and on the Roads

  • Train truck drivers carefully
  • Shut off all equipment prior to maintenance and repairs
  • Be sure all truck and equipment lights work properly
  • Obey all traffic rules and regulations
  • Keep children off farm machinery
  • Get adequate rest
  • Keep first aid materials close at hand at all times
  • Code all needed emergency numbers into cell phones
  • Always use "safety pull" equipment when pulling trucks
  • Watch out for mud on roads
  • Post mud on road warning signs as necessary

Nutrient Value of Straw:

To burn, bale, or keep residue on the field these are the questions about straw management. A two ton straw crop contains about 25 lbs of nitrogen and 10 lbs of P2O5. The nutrient value is about $10/ton, or $20-30/acre. Improved soil health is also a benefit.