NDSU Crop and Pest Report
Soils


ISSUE 1   May 6, 2004

2004 SUGARBEET PROJECTIONS

The 2004 projection for sugarbeet acreage are as follows: American Crystal Sugar Company (ACSC) 499,507acres, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative (Minn-Dak) 104,250 acres, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC) 118,000 acres, and Sidney Sugars 41,000 acres. Planting is ahead of schedule. SMBSC, Minn-Dak, and Sidney Sugars have already completed planting. As of May 3, ACSC had planted 419,698 acres or 84% of their projected acreage.

Fields now need a good 1-2 inches of rain to set the potential for a high yielding sugarbeet crop.

 

SOIL TEMPERATURE REQUIRED FOR SUGARBEET SEED GERMINATION

Sugarbeet is a relatively cold tolerant plant that will germinate over a wide temperature range in the presence of adequate soil moisture. Soil temperature in the seed placement zone must be 37.4EF or greater to initiate germination. The actual duration of optimum or sub-optimum temperatures will impact emergence rate and uniformity. The following table shows approximate days to emergence at different soil temperature ranges. Please note that the average bare soil temperature at 4 inch depth ranged from 48EF at Sabin, MN, to 51EF at Williston, ND during the past 14 days.

Soil Temperature (EF)

Days to Emergence

38-45

21 days or more

45-52

10-21 days

52-60

7-12 days

60-70

5-7 days

 

FERTILIZER RECOMMENDATION FOR SUGARBEET

The fertilizer recommendations are the same for American Crystal Sugar Company, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative. One-hundred (100) lb/A of soil N plus fertilizer N is needed in the 0-2 foot depth soil profile and 130 lb/A for the 0-4 foot depth soil profile. Sixty-five (65) lb/A of N is required in the 0-2 foot depth soil profile early in the season to maximize crop growth, yield and quality. The 65 lb/A of N is required regardless of the amount of residual N below the 2' depth. Apply P and K fertilizer based on your soil test report using our recommendations found on pages 5-8 of the production guide. When using starter fertilizer at planting, DO NOT apply more than 5 lb/A of salts (N + K2O) in direct contact with seeds since this can reduce plant stand.

Mohamed Khan
Extension Sugarbeet Specialist
mkhan@ndsuext.nodak.edu

 

FLAX RECOMMENDATION CHANGES

Last November, a change was made in flax recommendations. Based on a new look at old data, the phosphate recommendations were dropped for flax. It is a rare thing to find a study that shows a positive yield response of flax to fertilizer phosphate. Recent studies in Manitoba have shown that flax has a special relationship with mycorrhizae, which are soil fungi that form a symbiotic relationship with most plants. The fungus receives carbohydrates from the plant, and the host receives help with mineral nutrients, particularly phosphorus and zinc from the fungus. Most of our crops in North Dakota have a mycorrhizal relationship of some kind, except plants in the mustard family (mustard, canola, crambe) and the lambsquarter family (sugarbeets). But none that I no of have as special relationship with mycorrhizae as flax. If flax is not fertilized with P, mycorrhizal infection is high. If flax receives P fertilizer, mycorrhizae infection is reduced. From the yield data, it would seem the result of P fertilization is almost always no difference. Although it is important to keep an eye on the P soil test and fertilize other crops sufficiently so that there is some P available for mycorrhizae to find, there is no need to fertilizer flax with P.

 

OTHER FLAX NOTES

The N recommendations for flax are currently 3 X yield goal less soil test to 2 feet in depth. In some crops, yield goal is determined optimistically, because the risk of not enough N is greater than too little. In flax, the risk is in applying too much. Too much N can result in lodging and increased disease, and reduced oil content. Since most flax growers struggle to hit 30 bushel yields, keeping yield goal expectations at the 25-30 bushel range would probably be a good plan for N rate calculations. Better yields would still be possible if the environment supported it from increased soil organic matter N mineralization, but N rates would be low enough so that lodging would not be a problem and quality would be maintained.

Zinc is the other nutrient that is needed most often for flax. If soil test DTPA extractable zinc levels are less than 1 ppm, some zinc should be applied. Flax is sensitive to seed-placed fertilizer. If phosphate was applied, keep maximum levels below the following chart-

Maximum rates of N that can be placed in the seed row with flax. Alberta Ag, 2002.

 

Width of fertilizer spread in the row

1 inch

2 inches

3 inches

4 inches

(disc or knife)

(hoe opener)

(sweep)

(sweep)

Row spacing

6"

9"

12"

6"

9"

12"

6"

9"

12"

6"

9"

12"

Seed bed utilization,%

17

11

8

33

22

17

50

33

25

67

44

33

 

Pounds of N per acre

Sandy loams

10

5

0

20

15

10

30

10

15

40

25

20

Loam to clay loam

15

10

5

30

20

15

40

30

20

50

35

30

Clay

20

15

10

40

30

20

50

40

30

60

45

40

 

WINTER WHEAT TOPDRESS

Some of the winter wheat looks good in the state and some is suffering from dry weather. After the yield goal estimate and the decision to fertilize with N is made, the method of application must be considered. Urea can be applied, and if it is really dry, like it is now, volatility would not immediately be a problem. However, if it rained a little, but not enough to move the urea into the soil (less than inch), volatility would begin. Having the fertilizer dealer impregnate the urea with a urease inhibitor would help and prevent significant volatility for about 10 days. Another option would be to apply N through streamer bars using UAN (28-0-0). UAN is about ammonium nitrate, so regardless of how much urea was lost, at least of the total N applied would stay on the field. Also, application in a surface band has been superior in trials to a broadcast application of UAN in terms of delaying volatility losses.

Dave Franzen
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
dfranzen@ndsuext.nodak.edu


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