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Fortunate to Avoid Frost Damage in Most Sugarbeet Production Areas (05/21/20)

During the period of May 7 through 12, air temperature was below freezing and dropped to as low as 21° F in the northern Red River Valley and 24° F in the southern Red River Valley.

During the period of May 7 through 12, air temperature was below freezing and dropped to as low as 21° F in the northern Red River Valley and 24° F in the southern Red River Valley.

Sugarbeet at the cotyledonary stage are typically most able to tolerate a few hours of frost. Older plants typically are able to survive to 28 or even 26 F. Newly emerged seedlings (Figure 1) and 2- to 4-leaf stage sugarbeet are most susceptible when exposed to frost. Fortunately, most sugarbeet production areas in North Dakota and Minnesota did not have frost damage. Overall, about 2000 acres were damaged by frost and will have to be replanted.

In the northern and central Red River Valley, most of the acreage had late planting which meant that seedlings had not emerged at the time of the frost. Those seedlings are now emerging and are healthy (Figure 1). The southern Red River Valley had beets at the cotyledonary stage which were able to tolerate the frost with minimal damage. The fact that most of the soils were wet and there was a slight wind during the coldest period were important factors in reducing the areas impacted by the relatively low temperatures.      

mohamed khan

Mohamed Khan

Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

NDSU & U of MN

701-231-8596

 

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