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Aim for 175 to 200 Sugarbeet Plants per 100 ft of Row for Highest Sugarbeet Yield and Quality (05/23/19)

Researchers at North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota have demonstrated that a wide range of plant population (100 to 300 plants per 100 ft. of row) with uniformly spaced plants resulted in high tonnage and recoverable sucrose.

Researchers at North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota have demonstrated that a wide range of plant population (100 to 300 plants per 100 ft. of row) with uniformly spaced plants resulted in high tonnage and recoverable sucrose. However, plant populations of 175 to 200 plants per 100 foot of 22-inch wide rows consistently resulted in the highest recoverable sucrose per acre. It is critical that the plants be evenly spaced within the rows. It is highly recommended that growers plant seeds about 4.5 to 4.75 inches apart to allow for any reduction in population from wind, insects, and diseases, to get the ideal 200 plants/100 ft. of row.

Most growers use 22-inch wide rows. However, we have a small percent of growers with 30-inch rows to facilitate use of machinery and equipment for several row crops. Growers with 30-inch rows should strive for at least 225 plants per 100 foot of row for highest tonnage and sucrose concentration.

Growers strive to plant as early as is practical, taking into consideration the possibility for a frost in May. Most growers aim to get their sugarbeet planting done from around April 12 through early May based on field conditions. Wet field conditions have delayed planting in most areas in 2019. However, growers in the Red River Valley have made significant progress with about 96% of sugarbeet planting completed and hope for another working day to be completed. Growers in southern Minnesota, adversely affected with a late season snowstorm and recent rains, have made slower progress and are about 75% completed. These growers really need a break of good weather to complete planting.

Planting sugarbeet fields with cover crops such as oats, barley and wheat help to prevent reduction in plant stand from high winds, reduce soil erosion and help to conserve moisture after the cover-crop is killed-off with herbicide. Growers are encouraged to use cover crops especially in fields that are known to have a history of ‘blowing’ during high wind events that is common in spring.

In areas where beets have emerged, fields should be scouted for weeds and necessary weed control measures should be taken to avoid competition of the sugarbeet crop with weeds.

 

Mohamed Khan

Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

NDSU & U of MN

701-231-8596

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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