Sugar Beet

Sugar Beet

Crop Rotation

Why is it important?

Crop rotation, as a rule, can improve the performances of any crop. Sugar Beet is very sensitive to crop rotations due to viruses, fungi, and insects. Sugar Beet should not be grown on the same field within the same 4-5 year period in order to avoid the building up of pathogens.
Crop Rotations allow the farmer to spread labor intensive operations out throughout the duration of the year reducing labor and equipment requirements.
Exploitation of soil fertility is improved, as different crops roots explore different layers of soil and utilize different nutrients. Soybean enriches the content of N in soil for following crops.
Structure of soils improves because residues from crop roots stay at different depths and crop residues have different nutritional contents.
Management of pests and diseases get easier because different crops have different pests: for Sugar Beet particularly critical diseases are Rhizomania and Cercospora. Crop rotations are the main means to avoid or reduce damages.
Management of weeds also get easier for the same reason: e.g. control of monocot is much more easy in Sugar Beet than in monocot crop.


PONDING

Misconception: Ponding is a result of too much rainfall

Not necessarily. Usually ponding is a result of poorly managed soil. When soil is compacted, it cannot absorb water. Compacted soil is like a sponge that is squeezed tight: there is no space for air and water. To make matters worse, compacted soil forms an impenetrable layer that prevents excess water from draining through. The result is ponding.


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Early planting

Sugar Beet should be planted as early as weather, soil moisture, and temperature conditions permit. The potential for very high yields from early plantings is usually considered worth the risk of frost damage.
Plant Sugar Beet seeds 8 to 10 centimeters apart if they are to be thinned.
Plant Sugar Beet seeds 11 to 13 centimeters apart if planting for a stand.
A planting speed of 6-7km per hour is recommended when using pneumatic planters. If utilizing mechanical planting 4-6km per hour.
Perform maintenance on planter prior to planting.
Research shows that an ideal stand at harvest is between 8 and 11 plants per square meter, which means 15-18 seeds at sowing, with 45cm spacing (1.5-1.8 units per hectare). Ideal stand is dependent on field germinating capacity.


Spraying

• In Sugar Beet cultivation, crop protection is of paramount importance. Diseases, insects, and weeds are serious competitors for crop, and spraying is needed on a regular basis.
Weed control is carried out both with pre-sowing, pre-emergence and post emergence (on-top spraying). Weeds and/or pest can damage the yield up to the 100%, if not controlled or controlled too late.
For example, research in the United States (North Dakota State University) has shown that if Redroot Pigweed is allowed to achieve a density of three plants per meter in a single row, 44% Sugar Beet yield loss is possible.
Sugar Beet is a low height crop and many weeds can grow taller than Sugar Beet. Because weeds can become taller than the crop, Sugar Beet is more susceptible to yield losses due to weed competition compared to other high-canopy crops.
Insect pests (root maggot, flea beetles, cutworm) and fungi diseases (Cercospora, leaf spot) are major concerns in Sugar Beet production.
• The high cost of applications and the higher volume of application required for Sugar Beet cultivation makes accurate chemical applications a necessity.
Adjustments of pressure and volume are required depending on what the target is (weeds, fungi, insects).
Drift control is another important factor to avoid damaging surrounding environment and crops.


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