ISSUE 5 May 31, 2001
SUGARBEET PLANT POPULATION AND REPLANTING
Achieving maximum yield of sugar is impossible without ideal stand establishment and excellent plant population. Studies conducted at NDSU and the University of Minnesota indicate that plant populations of about 35,000 plants per acre at harvest will result in maximum yield of high quality sugarbeet. This population corresponds to about 150 plants per 100 feet of 22 inches row width at harvest time.
Plant population in excess of 200 sugarbeet per 100 feet of row should almost always be thinned. When plant population falls below 125 sugarbeet per 100 feet of row, yield and quality begin to decline. If very low population result early in the season - late April to early May, it may be economical to replant. However, at this time - late May to early June, replanting should not be done unless the need is fully justified. Stands of 60 sugarbeet per 100 feet of row should not be replanted at this time. Replanting does not guarantee a good stand, especially if replanting is done late in the season in dry, hot seedbeds poorly suited for germination and seedling development. Fields with low plant population should be carefully managed to ensure that weeds are fully controlled since weeds are more competitive in low sugarbeet population.
Dr. Mohamed F. Khan
NDSU Extension Sugarbeet Specialist