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Evaluating your season-long sugarbeet Rhizoctonia management plan

May 16, 2016

Last season, sugarbeet growers experienced significant disease pressure from one of the most destructive sugarbeet diseases – Rhizoctonia. This soilborne fungal disease causes significant yield loss by reducing tonnage and sugar content, as well as affecting quality in storage piles. Rhizoctonia can develop relatively early, and continue to develop throughout the entire growing season, depending on environmental conditions.

The battle against Rhizoctonia can be fought with proactive and timely management practices. Syngenta recommends the following tips for this season:

  • Use tillage and fertilization to promote crop growth
  • Ensure adequate soil drainage
  • Make timely fungicide applications (early rather than late), particularly on susceptible varieties
  • Avoid cultivation that dumps soil into the crown of young plants

Experts at the Michigan State University Extension recommend using a T-band in-furrow and/or an early foliar-banded application of Quadris® fungicide in Rhizoctonia management plans. Quadris offers optimal disease control and allows crops to efficiently utilize resources like nutrients and water. Quadris also offers:

  • Application flexibility and long-lasting residual disease control
  • Slow but steady systemic mobility to ensure sufficient coverage and distribution within the plant
  • Excellent activity against Rhizoctonia

In addition to utilizing fungicides, Michigan State University Extension recommends growers evaluate every sugarbeet field for the inoculum level of Rhizoctonia. This helps determine the effectiveness of management plans and can help predict Rhizoctonia levels the next time beets are grown in that field.

Choosing an early disease management plan, utilizing best agronomic practices and applying fungicides, when necessary, can help sugarbeets steer clear of Rhizoctonia and provide an increased chance for a successful season.

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