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What you can’t see can hurt your sugarbeet yields

January 11, 2016

When we think about damage to our crops, we often focus on what we can see – those insects, weeds and diseases visibly hurting our yields. What we sometimes forget is that there can also be threats quietly eating away at our profits out of sight below the surface. One such “invisible” pest afflicting sugarbeet growers is the sugarbeet cyst nematode (BCN).

The number of fields with confirmed BCN presence has grown drastically over the last 30 years, and the pest has become increasingly difficult to manage. These microscopic parasitic can cause extensive damage such as reduced stand, stunted beet growth and decreased root efficiency, all of which can lead to yield losses up to 80 percent. The battle against BCN is fought with proactive management practices beginning at seed selection time.

The Syngenta sugarbeet portfolio has several nematode-tolerant Hilleshög® brand sugarbeet varieties. These varieties are offered in areas where nematodes pose a significant threat to crops. Please check with your local Hilleshög Sales Agent or co-op agronomist for availability.

To further enhance protection against BCN, Syngenta also offers Clariva® pn seed treatment nematicide. When used in conjunction with CruiserMaxx® Sugarbeets insecticide/fungicide, combination of separately registered products, Clariva pn seed treatment provides triple protection against seedling diseases, insects and BCN through its unique mode of action, maximizing yield and profit potential.

In addition to choosing the best-suited variety and seed treatment for your field, be sure you are soil testing and scouting regularly throughout the season to monitor for signs of BCN damage. It’s also important to speak with local seed agents and agronomists who can provide recommendations about timely crop management. In doing so, you’ll help ensure your crop gets off to a healthy start and remains competitive throughout the season, ultimately enabling you to maximize your return on investment.

For more on the invisible pest, check out this infographic.

All photos are the property of Syngenta unless otherwise noted.