By Todd Geselius
RENVILLE, Minn. – The 2017 crop at Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC) turned out to be a record despite issues along the way. Planting began in early to mid-April but was then delayed until the first part of May due to rain. Generally good growing conditions continued through June and early July with the first Cercospora Leafspot (CLS) fungicide applications going on around July 4th. The normally dry conditions in late July and early August were replaced with timely rainfall which resulted in exceptional beet growth during this period.
Reports From All North American Sugar Beet Growing Regions
The Amalgamated Sugar Company
The 2016 crop year began with a near perfect early spring. Virtually all growers established uniform, healthy sugarbeet plant populations in their fields with minimal replanted acres. The momentum for ideal sugarbeet growing conditions continued into the summer with moderate daytime temperatures. These temperatures helped to reduce stress on the sugarbeet crop which can sometimes hamper optimal growth and sugar production. All the normal diseases were present, but lacked environmental conditions conducive for optimal disease development.
A look back at 2016 and ahead to 2017
If there are two words out there that farmers never wish to hear used together, it’s PESTICIDE RESISTANCE. Unfortunately, growers had to face this issue head on with Cercospora Leaf Spot (CLS) in some portions of the upper Midwest during the 2016 growing season. The fungal pathogen Cercospora beticola, which causes CLS, is now confirmed resistant to a widely used fungicide.
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Reports from All North American Beet Regions
Amalgamated Sugar Company
Early harvest results of the 2013 crop pointed to a large crop. These results were somewhat surprising due to the difficult 2013 springtime weather. There were 82,512 acres replanted — 44% of the planted acres. A 3% voluntary overplant was allowed in 2013, but not all of the allowed overplant was planted. There were 186,321 acres contracted with 186,176 acres planted. There were 712 acres lost due to environmental conditions and lack of water in some areas where storage water was short.
Temperatures during the growing season were conducive for good yields. With that comes higher mineralization in the soil, resulting in lower sugar contents. Early harvest sugar content was 14.21% in Mini-Cassia and 15.00% in the Twin Falls district, both of which were below average for early harvest.
The 2013 Amalgamated crop set another yield record of 36.3 tons per acre. However, the sugar content was a disappointing 15.87 %. Harvest was ideal, and the beets were put into the piles in good condition. — John Schorr
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By Mark Bredehoeft*
Application of an in-furrow 10-34-0 starter fertilizer at planting is generally considered to be a paying proposition in the Red River Valley and southern Minnesota sugarbeet areas. Often-cited benefits include increased early season vigor, improved crop stress tolerance, a typical boost in final recoverable sugar per acre, and optimal use of applied phosphorus inputs.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower