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Sugarbeets

dbltree

Super Moderator
Sugar beets are somewhat like brassicas in planting and growing methods but are not commonly grown in Iowa. Places like the Saginaw Valley of Michigan and Minnesota, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), a member of the Chenopodiaceae family, is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose. It is grown commercially for sugar production.



Sugarbeets have the potential to produce up to 22 tons per acre on fertile soils and the both the tops and roots prove attractive to deer.

Sugarbeets can be planted by tilling/broadcasting, using row crop planters or drilled in at roughly 20,000 -50,000 seeds per acre and tests show that emegence is better at a 1/2" rather then deeper depths.

Most small plotters will probally want to till the soil, cultipack or smooth it, broadcast seed and then re-cultipack to cover the seed perhaps dragging a heavy chain or plank as well or in place of a cultipacker.

Sugar beets (like brassicas) have high nitrogen requirements and soil tests will let you know P&K requirements.

40-60#'s of P&K per acre and 80-100#'s of nitrogen per acre will get you in the ball park. Broadcast the fertilizer and till in before planting.

Fertilizing Sugar Beet

SugarBeet Fertilizer requirements

Planting Sugarbeets

Growing Sugarbeets

Sugarbeets Fact Sheet

Right now only a few places offer sugar beet seed in small quanities but if it proves to be a popular food plot then I suspect others will offer it.

Holly Hybrids

MAXI-RACK Seeds

BuckLunch Sugar Beet Seed

BuckGro Sugarbeet Seed

Weeds can be controled in conventional suagr beets much like brassicas by using pre-emergent herbicides like Dual Magnum II or post emergent grass control like Select 2-EC (clethodim)

RR sugar beets are also available but of course at a premium seed cost.

I'm going to be testing both this season but RR seed costs roughly $100 for a 1/2 acre while conventional seed is half that.

This link will give you good info on herbicides and rates needed.

Sugar Beet Weed Control Guide

Pyramin DF For pre-emergence broadleaf control.

Use clethodim for post-emergence grass control.

Sugar beets have potential but like any plot crop have pros and cons. I'm hoping that deer will avoid then early on leaving a late fall/winter food source however they may very well murder the beet tops as they do my brassicas early in the game.

This is my first planting season so I would urge you to read through the links for practical information from universities rather then myself or deer hunting guides.





 
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SEIowaDeerslayer

Well-Known Member
When can sugarbeets be planted? If they can be spring planted without rotting like brassicas, this would be an ideal plot for me!
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
When can sugarbeets be planted? If they can be spring planted without rotting like brassicas, this would be an ideal plot for me!

Anytime now here in SE Iowa, basically along the lines of corn.

We don't want them getting exposed to extreme freezes but I think they can stand getting "nipped".

I think I'll plant mine the week of the 20th...;)
 

SEIowaDeerslayer

Well-Known Member
Anytime now here in SE Iowa, basically along the lines of corn.

We don't want them getting exposed to extreme freezes but I think they can stand getting "nipped".

I think I'll plant mine the week of the 20th...;)

This is GREAT news. So I can pretty much get the tonnage of feed per acre for the fall and winter but I don't have to go through the hassles of planting a cover crop and then going back and planting again in the summer. I'm stoked!
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Well it was a struggle but I finally got my sugar beets planted Monday! That's the only problem with spring plantings....weather can be a real headache and we have had a pile of rain this spring.

I planted two plots sandwhiched inbetween clover and alfalfa plots



This field gets hammered so if the beets can survive till fall I'll be amazed and...delighted!


I tilled the plots and put down 90#'s of actual nitrogen per acre using 46-0-0 urea


I just used my bag seeder and opened it all the way up and spread it by hand.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Pretty easy to check coverage of the white urea against the tilled soil



Then I tilled the urea in



I planted Roundup Ready Sugarbeets but the seed is very expensive! A half acre is $100 so along with urea one is looking at roughly $250-275 an acre to plant RR sugar beets.

Seed is roughly the same size as milo seed



and this seed was treated with Apron and very easy to see

 

dbltree

Super Moderator
I used a small hand seeder with the opening set barely wide enough to allow seed to pass thru



On mine it was set on the "2" notch



Couple pics of seed coverage if you can see the blue seed against the soil



 

dbltree

Super Moderator
I tried just cultipacking the seed to cover it but the soil was a little moist and it only 85-90% covered...







The second plot I tilled it in lightly with the cultipacker running behind and it covered better.

So this is what it looks like as of 05-04-09



Be interesting to follow progress this summer and see what happens...
 

roadking

New Member
I am also trying RR sugarbeets. I basically used the same fertilizer program that I do for corn. 150# starter & 150# Eurea/acre tilled in. I put my 1/2 acre patch right in the middle of my 3.5 acre corn field. I also used a hand speader and opened the hole all the way but the flow was very slow so I think I adequate coverage. I guess the key is to not get them on to thick or you just end up with smaller beets. I then cultipacked them in and you could still see lots of them after cultipacking. I'm told they just need good seed to soil contact so I should be fine.
Let me know how yours turn out.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
June 1st 2009 sugarbeet update...

Seems like germination is pretty poor but soe plants have emerged



Those that have look healthy



They seem spotty so I'm not sure if there was some soil crusting or perhaps turkeys got to some of the seed? :confused:



Not sure what to think, maybe more will come up but if not I expect deer will wipe them out soon.

From a distance it's hard to tell anything is going on in this plot...



I'll just keep an eye on them and see what happens...:)
 

killer buck

Member
mine are pretty spotty to but its getting a lot better, so hopefully the deer will stay away from them for awhile yet. Ill try to put some pics up of some of my beets.
 
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roadking

New Member
was at my farm this weekend and mine actually look pretty good. I'll try to send some pics. later this week.
 

killer buck

Member
Well here is some pics of my sugar beet plot. There not that big yet but hopefully they keep on growing, for this fall.



You can sort of tell that there coming up. Its growing thicker in some places.



some more pics of some of the bigger beets.



Is there anything you can put on the beets that will kill all the weeds?



Ill post more pics as they grow.
 

roadking

New Member
Nice pics. If you have round up ready beets you can spray with round up or like product. If not, I am unsure if you can spray with anything. Good luck.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
You can spray sugarbeets with Select 2EC (clethodim) to kill any type of grasses but broadleaves I think would be another story.

Generic versions of clethodim include Arrow, Volunteer, Shadow and Cleodim 2-Ec...all contain 26.4% clethodim and prices range from $85-130 a gallon. Use 6-8 ounces per acre along with one quart of crop oil concentrate per acre.

Beets look great, thanks for sharing the pics!:way:
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Davis County got hit with a once in a lifetime hail storm that blasted out windows in the courthouse in Bloomfield along with many other town buildings. No one in the areas had every seen anything like it...crops have been annihilated, siding destroyed on houses and trees shredded.

That doesn't bode well for my sugarbeets...





I'm going to spray them with roundup but...



I don't know if they will recover at this point



This brings up the problem with spring plantings, fighting weather to get them planted, having them destroyed by early summer hail and wind and then watching them die in severe summer droughts.

No wonder I gave up farming...;)

Fall plantings or using cereal grains and peas are almost can't fail and rarely endure any of the problems that spring plantings face.

I'll see what the beets do, if they recover or not? They are pretty thin and deer may finish off what the hail didn't.

If they survive at all I may try broadcating brassicas into them in late July but if they don't recover I'll end up tilling under some very expensive seed...:(
 

killer buck

Member
Dang that sucks, looks like they got hammered. <a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZNxdm824YYUS%2526i%253D4%252F4%255F2%255F108%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/4/4_2_108.gif" alt="SmileyCentral.com" border="0"><img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D4%252F4_2_108%2526uiv%253D3.0/image.gif"></a> I hope that your sugar beets can make it through the summer because Im going to need some insight on sugar beets.<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZNxdm824YYUS%2526i%253D4%252F4%255F1%255F107%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/4/4_1_107.gif" alt="SmileyCentral.com" border="0"><img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D4%252F4_1_107%2526uiv%253D3.0/image.gif"></a>
 
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