ISSUE #517

517 - Future Big Crops to Be Expected


Exceptional crop yields and quality are becoming routine and should no longer be considered the exception today. The last three crops had 25.4, 23.5 and 25.4 tons per acre for yields. Just 5 years ago most people would have said this was impossible. The 2008 crop at 25.4 tons per acre is particularly surprising given it was planted a bit later than 2006 and 2007, GDD were down about 10% and Roundup Ready® variety yield potential was about .75 tons per acre less than conventional varieties. A best crop "three peat" is something agriculturists, growers, seed companies and allied industry personnel should take great pride in. Expect the 2009 crop to be just as good or better.

Why The Second Best Crop Ever in 2008?

    • Roundup Ready® varieties helped provide excellent weed control especially for Kochia and very weedy fields.
    • Probably less crop phytotoxicity with Roundup Ready® varieties
    • A long frost free growing season
    • Much above normal September and October rainfall
    • Limited acres with very severe root rot
    • Reduced planted acres increases the percentage of beets on better land

Ag Department Initiatives Pay Off

  • Stand establishment strategies emphasis
  • Starter fertilizer use
  • XBEET use initiative
  • Zone fertility management
  • Headline for plant health
  • Maximizing production on reduced acres

All of these initiatives continue to contribute to successful beet production for American Crystal Sugar Company.

Can the Future Be Even Better?

Exceptional yields and quality should be expected and are necessary to maintain crop profitability as cost of production and processing increase. Progressive growers and an innovative and aggressive Agriculture Department will continue to work together to make this happen. Strategies to Consider for Future Success:

  • Continue emphasis on Agriculture Department initiatives listed above
  • Adoption and use of Poncho Beta
  • Best land selection with reduced acres of beets
  • Development of "Plant Health II" initiative with triazole fungicides
  • Improvement in Roundup Ready® variety yield potential
  • Better matching variety "disease package" to needs for individual fields.

2008 Detailed Harvest Data: Yield and Quality by Home Station - 2008 Crop

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