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closeup of unharvested beet plant in the ground
BEET IMPACT: Sugarbeets left in the ground affect crops planted next year.

Top 4 crops you should plant on unharvested sugarbeet acres

Legumes that can help manage nitrogen and lower nitrogen input costs are the top choices.

Crop rotation, field prep and fertilizer management will have to be tweaked in order to bring unharvested sugarbeet ground back into full production.

According to American Crystal Sugar Co., the top four crops to plant on unharvested sugarbeet acres are:

1. Soybean. Soybeans are a legume and will use nitrogen available or make its own supply. That makes them the best choice for nitrogen management and lowering nitrogen input costs. Consider increasing plant populations by 10% if seedbeds are poor.

2. Edible beans. Edible beans are a legume and will use nitrogen available or make its own supply, making them another good choice for nitrogen management and lowering nitrogen input costs. Consider increasing plant populations by 10% if seedbeds are poor.

3. Small grains. Small grains will need an extra 30-40 pounds per acre of actual nitrogen to offset soil nitrogen tied up in soil by the extra sugarbeet organic matter. Malting barley may be the hardest of the small grains to manage on unharvested beet ground because of the possible N carryover.

4. Corn. Corn following sugarbeets can experience “fallow syndrome,” requiring higher amounts of phosphorus starter fertilizer. Ten gallons per acre 10-34-0 is the high limit to be placed in-furrow. Corn will need an extra 30 to 50 pounds of actual nitrogen. A population increase of 10% is recommended for poor seedbeds conditions.

Planting tips

Careful spring tillage may be required to maximize stand establishment.

If seedbeds are poor, consider increasing seeding rates by 10% to overcome stand establishment problems with small grains, corn or soybean.

When planting row crops following unharvested beets, consider using GPS/RTK to plant between the existing sugarbeet rows. It will leave the unharvested root undisturbed.

Source: American Crystal Sugar Co., which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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