Dakota State University -- NDSU Agriculture
7 Morrill Hall, Fargo ND, 58105-5655, Tel: 701-231-7881, Fax: 701-231-7044
Late Planting Can Hurt Sugarbeet Yield
Delayed planting this spring is likely to cut yields this fall for the regionís sugarbeet growers. But the news isnít all bad, says a university sugarbeet specialist.
Some positives that can come out of a late planting season according to Alan Dexter, North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota sugarbeet weed specialist. In some situations, delayed seeding can result in reduced weed populations. "If weeds geminate before seeding, they can be destroyed by seedbed tillage or by Roundup applied before the sugarbeet plants emerge," says Dexter. "Kochia, common lambsquarters and wild oat are all early germinating weeds. A significant portion of the population may germinate and emerge before sugarbeet seeding when seeding is delayed. Control of the early germinators will greatly improve overall weed control."
Producers are searching for cost-reducing ideas for sugarbeets as profit margins are expected to be limited in 2001. Dexter says band spraying rather than broadcasting herbicides can save half or more of the herbicide cost. But there are some disadvantages. "Band spraying is slower and requires more management," says Dexter. "More cultivation will be needed and band spraying requires a special sprayer."
Some growers have been considering reducing the micro-rate of Betamix or Betanex from 8 fluid ounces to 6. Dexter says growers should stay away from that idea. "Common lambsquarters is one of the first weeds missed by the micro-rate and the full 8 fluid ounces of Betamix or Betanex is needed to increase the consistency of control. The savings from reducing rates in the micro-rate is not worth the risk of less consistent weed control."
Dexter says itís also not a good idea to reduce the amount of adjuvant in the micro-rate. "A methylated seed oil or basic blend adjuvant should be used at 1.5 percent volume to spray volume with a minimum of one pint per-acre if youíre using low water volumes or a maximum of two pints per acre. This amount of adjuvant should be used regardless of the brand of methylated seed oil or basic blend adjuvant that is used."
Dexter urges caution when buying some products with exaggerated claims. "A few adjuvant brands are out there claiming to be more concentrated so use rates can be lower. I do not agree with that. I think growers need to maintain the 1.5 percent volume to volume with the minimum of one pint per acre.
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