Planting Sugarbeets to Stand when Establishment is Erratic1
- S. R. Winter2
Planting sugarbeets (Beta vulgaris L.) to stand is desirable if yields can be maintained. Low seeding rates eliminate the need to thin; however, yield and quality suffer if harvest stand is low. Sugarbeet stand establishment is erratic on the Southern High Plains. Therefore, planting to stand has been assumed to be unworkable. These studies were undertaken to determine the feasibility of planting to stand where establishment is erratic.
Sugarbeets were planted to stand at a wide range of seeding rates and compared to an overplanted, handthinned check. Rows were 76-cm apart on Pullman clay loam (fine, mixed, thermic Torrertic Paleustolls order Mollisol). Yield and harvest loss were determined on the center two rows of four-row field plots with commercial harvesting equipment.
Establishment of planted seed ranged from 31 to 63% and averaged 46%. Harvested mot yield and percent sucrose were reduced if harvest stand fell below four . More than 10.0 plants/m reduced root yield thin stands, less in thick stands, and least in near optimum stands (five to seven plants/m). Optimum seeding rate depended on establishment conditions; however, results were consistently good when planting to stand at 16.7 seeds/m of row. At this seediing rate, harvested sucrose yield ranged from 94.5 to 100.2% and averaged 97.8% of the hand-thinned check. Thus, sugarbeets were successfully planted to stand even with low and erratic establishment. Planting sugarbeets to stand should be successful in other areas. The key to success is using a seeding rate high enough to guard against the lowest commonly expected establishment.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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