2011 Official Coded Variety Trials

November 2011

Dear ACSC Sugarbeet Grower:

View Trial Procedures

View Official Trial Location Sites

The 2011 official coded variety performance trials and disease nurseries were planted at 19 sites by American Crystal Sugar Company (ACSC) and included 13 yield trial sites. Thanks are extended to the dedicated Technical Services staff involved in official trial plot care, harvest, and analyses.

Results from the Official Variety Trials sites were good to excellent. Yield losses with rhizomania susceptible commercial checks ranged from light to severe. Rhizoctonia was less prevalent in 2011 than in some previous years. Revenue calculations in 2011 are based on a hypothetical $47.65 payment at 17.5% sugar and 1.5% SLM and do not consider hauling or production costs.

Fusarium evaluation was conducted at one Moorhead site. TheRhizoctonia data is from two ACSC Moorhead sites and Ft. Collins (USDA). The Aphanomyces data is from Hillsboro, Kindred and Shakopee. The Cercospora data is from Foxhome, MN; Rosemount, MN; and Michigan USDA. Two disease nurseries were abandoned: Hickson (NDSU) Rhizoctonia had light infection and south MoorheadFusarium had light and erratic disease infection.

In 2010, official trial seed size requirements were revised to allow planting of pellets in all yield trials. Some varieties that were supplied by seed companies were smaller than specified. This resulted in "plant to thin" plots instead of "plant to stand" plots. The "plant to thin" plots were shorter than the typical plot (short rows). Agronomic data (yield, sugar, loss to molasses and emergence) was not reported (NA) for commercial varieties. Experimental varieties had short rows considered as gaps with no adjustment.

The 2011 data has been combined with the previous years' data, and results are enclosed. Data has been combined from sites with similar rhizomania severity (light or moderate to severe). Rhizoctonia andFusarium ratings are optional on first year Roundup Ready® entries. The most severe disease symptoms were noted at Glyndon (rhizomania & Fusarium), Halstad (rhizomania) and Crookston East & Grand Forks (Rhizoctonia). Results for these and other individual sites can be found on the internet. The Glyndon site is the first yield trial we have had with severe Fusarium. The Glyndon results were considered atypical and not included in the mean of all locations, but the results for Glyndon can be found with the other individual trial data on the internet. The two Aphanomyces yield trials (RR only) had severe infection in 2011.

Rhizoctonia ratings have been variable for several years with the 2011 results being somewhat more consistent. Review the Rhizoctoniaratings carefully if choosing a Rhizoctonia tolerant variety.

In January 2009, the ACSC Seed Committee exempted the currently approved conventional varieties from continued variety testing - 31 conventional varieties are approved for sale in 2012; many of these varieties were not tested in 2009-2011 yield trials. Data for conventional varieties tested in 2009 - 2011 trials is in Table 6. Additional data for all approved conventional varieties can be found in Table 10 (2008 data).

More detailed information will be printed later in the Sugarbeet Research and Extension Reports (www.sbreb.org). Additional data including individual yield trial results and agronomic procedures are also on the ACSC web site.

Click here to open a pdf file with the 2011 Grower Info including:

  1. List of varieties approved for sale to ACSC growers
  2. Multi-year performance of RR varieties from ALL SITES
  3. Multi-year performance of RR varieties under various Rzm levels
  4. Multi-year performance of RR varieties under various Rzm levels
  5. Two-year performance of RR Aphanomyces specialty varieties
  6. Multi-year (where available) performance of conventional varieties from ALL SITES
  7. 2008 performance of conventional and RR varieties
  8. Trial sites, disease observations and agronomic information from all trial locations
  9. Disease ratings for all nurseries for varieties tested in 2011

Download 2011 Grower Info in Excel format

Links to 2011 data only follow:

Plot Procedures

Roundup Ready, Conventional and Aphanomyces trials were planted to stand at 4.5 inches. Casselton and Stephen were abandoned due to water damage.

Plots were planted crosswise (90°) to the cooperators' normal farming operations, where possible. Plot row lengths for all official trials were maintained at 44 feet with about 37 feet harvested. All trials had two or four-row plots planted in four or six replications. Planting was performed with two vacuum planters, which included a 12-row Hege and a modified 12-row Heath. These planters gave good single seed spacing (with proper seed size) which facilitated emergence counts and thinning. All seed was treated with Tachigaren and an insecticide. Emergence counts were taken on 12 foot of row of each plot. Multiple seedlings were counted as a single plant if they emerged less than one inch apart. The stands in all yield trials were refined by removing doubles (multiple seedlings less than 1.5 inch apart) by hand but were not further reduced.

Micro rate herbicides, Roundup Powermax with Weather Gard and full rates of fungicides were applied using a pickup sprayer driven down the alleys. Hand weeding was used where necessary. All yield trials were treated with Quadris during the 4 to 12 leaf stage (9 oz/A broadcast since 2004) for Rhizoctonia control. Eminent, Supertin and Headline were used for Cercospora control in 2011. Ground spraying was conducted by ACSC technical staff.

RR varieties were evaluated in separate trials adjacent to conventional herbicide variety trials. RR varieties with commercial seed were planted in four-row, six replication trials. Two applications of Roundup were made in the 4-6 (28 oz) and 8-12 (22 oz) leaf stages. The RR experimental and conventional entries were planted in smaller two-row, four replication trials.

All plot rows were measured for total length after approximately 2.5 feet at each end were removed at the end of August, with skips greater than 60 inches (including short rows) being measured for adjustment purposes. Harvest was performed with two modified four-row harvesters (4310 and 4310A John Deere). All harvested beets of each plot were used for yield determination while one sample (approx 25 lbs) for sugar and impurity analysis was obtained from each plot. Quality analysis was performed at the ACSC Technical Services quality lab in Moorhead.

Varieties were planted in disease nurseries in North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and Colorado to evaluate varieties for disease tolerance.

ACSC adjusts the Cercospora, Aphanomyces, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium nursery data each year to provide a consistent target for variety approval criteria.

Before purchasing seed, please check to make sure the varieties you are buying are on the current approved list. In accordance with the grower contract, the cooperative has the option to refuse to purchase beets of a non-approved variety. If you have questions, please contact the ACSC Technical Services Center or your ACSC Agriculture Department.

William S. Niehaus
Official Trial Manager