By Tyler Grove
MOORHEAD, Minn. – With planting commencing the week of April 12th, 98% of acreage was planted by May 16th, wet and snow conditions (up to 8” in the north) held planting back a few days which resumed and wrapped up by the end of May. The average planting date for the 2017 crop was May 2nd, four days ahead of our 10-year average planting date. Seedbed conditions were better than average in all districts, a pleasant surprise considering extreme wet conditions last fall in our northern districts (East Grand Forks, Minnesota and Drayton, North Dakota). Overall, drier soil conditions with decreased precipitation compared to last year warranted no major concerns of root diseases or insect pressure.
Weed control progressed nicely with some newer areas showing new resistant weed arrivals, primarily waterhemp, and common ragweed. Cercospora Leafspot has shown increased resistance to available fungicides in recent years. We have witnessed two high pressure Cercospora years in a row, with concerns once again this year. Growers were armed with a list of Cercospora management notes and a spray program consisting of tank mixes, fungicide rotations, and increased water volumes to best offset this damaging leaf disease, and overall control was deemed good.
By Tom Knudsen
WAHPETON, N.D. - Sugarbeet seed issue took place March 30-31st and April 3-5th. The planting level for the 2017 crop was set at a range of 1.25 to 1.35 acres per share of stock. Planting was underway the second week of April. By mid-April, 13,000 acres (0.18 acres per share) had been planted. By the end of April, 58,000 acres had been planted. Planting was essentially completed by May 15th when 95,000 acres (1.32 acres per share) were planted. Rainfall was timely for the planting of the 2017 crop which led to good germination and emergence. There was a significant freeze period the mornings of April 27th, 28th, and 29th when temperatures dropped to the upper 20’s. Little damage was noted on emerged and subterranean seedlings for the most part. Approximately 1,000 acres were replanted out of the total 95,000 acres planted this past season. Replant was primarily due to wind, crust and, to a lesser extent, frost.
Crop samples in July indicated another very good crop was in the works. That was confirmed a month later when the August samples were taken. The ag staff put the yield at 31.9 tons per acre. The initial tentative corral on harvested acres was set at 15 percent; meaning 85 percent of the acres were eligible for harvest. That number was ultimately reduced in two stages to five percent.
Preharvest was underway Monday, September 11th. Main harvest commenced October 4th. Harvest 2017 was a lengthy drawn out affair due to intermittent warm temperatures which required numerous shutdowns. Harvest ended November 1st. Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative growers harvested 90,172 acres and delivered a total of 2,909,615 tons of sugarbeets. The crop averaged 17.0 percent sugar content, 89.4 percent purity, had a tare of 2.5 percent and yielded 32.3 tons per acre.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower