Crop & Pest Report


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Update on Sugarbeet Diseases and harvest (09/12/19)

The major disease that affected the sugarbeet crop this year was Cercospora leaf spot.

The major disease that affected the sugarbeet crop this year was Cercospora leaf spot. In the northern Red River Valley where it was drier and relatively cooler, Cercospora leaf spot was not a major problem and most growers have had excellent disease control with two or three fungicide applications. However, wet and warmer conditions in the southern Red River Valley and southern Minnesota were more favorable for development of Cercospora leaf spot. These growers have all done a great job of using recommended fungicides in six or more applications for controlling leaf spot. As such, most growers have good to excellent control of Cercospora leaf spot to date.

Why do growers have better control of Cercospora leaf spot this year compared to previous years?

Growers are using more disease resistant varieties that help in reducing the rate of disease development. In addition, the cooler weather, especially night temperatures below 60°F, is unfavorable for disease development. Most importantly, growers are using NDSU and University of Minnesota research based recommendations at the correct time. All of these factors, taken together have resulted in effective control of Cercospora leaf spot.

When will pre-piling start

Pre-piling is the term used for harvesting small quantities of beets which are processed in about two days. About 10 to 15% of the total crop is harvested during pre-pile. Growers at American Crystal Sugar Company and Minn-Dak Farmer’s Cooperative started their pre-pile in mid-August. Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative will start pre-pile around mid-September. The full campaign is expected to start around October 1.


Mohamed Khan

Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

NDSU & U of MN; 701-231-8596

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