Mild weather has growers itching to hit the fields and get a jump start on planting. University and extension researchers remind growers to use a cautious approach because of the unpredictability of weather and encourage growers to consider the risks of early planting. It’s also important to know the risks and best practices for late planting, in the event weather takes a turn.
According to the Michigan State University Extension, taking advantage of early sugarbeet planting opportunities can pay good dividends when it comes to improving both crop yield and quality. Planting early can increase the length of the growing season and allows the sugarbeet plant to capture more sunlight that is converted and stored as sugar. Early planting will also bolster tonnage and can greatly improve recoverable white sugar per acre.
To ensure growers are starting their crop off for a successful season, the most important thing they can do is to plant the right hybrid on the right field. Growers can choose the correct genetic package and seed treatment for each field’s individual needs, including hybrids that provide tolerance to pest issues they have faced in the past, especially if they are in an area with Pythium, Fusarium or Rhizoctonia.
In addition, correct planting timing allows seedlings to become established making them less vulnerable to injury from insect pest feeding. Planting early also allows sugarbeet plants to establish healthy tap roots that can get a good start on penetrating deeper into the more moist zones of the soil profile.
We’re excited to ring in the early spring planting season and help growers across the country tackle both their most pressing challenges and profit-maximizing opportunities to grow more sugar.
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