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10 tips to help manage fertilizer on unharvested sugarbeet acres

TAGS: Fertilizer
unharvested sugarbeets impact soil nutrients available for next crop
BEET IMPACT: Unharvested beets remain in the fields. They will decompose but may not release the nutrients right away in early spring.
Unharvested sugarbeets will affect the soil nutrients available to next year’s crops.

Unharvested sugarbeets can have a big impact on most soil nutrients, according to the American Crystal Sugar Co.’s agronomy department.

Defoliation or flail shredding of unharvested beet tops will accelerate release of nitrogen for subsequent crops. The N in the sugarbeet tops will be available very early in the spring.

Some tips on managing fertilizer on unharvested beet acres include:

1. Soil sample. Soil sample areas where sugarbeets were not harvested separately from the rest of the field.

2. Fertilize early. Apply N fertilizer as close to planting as possible to reduce nitrogen immobilization as unharvested sugarbeets decompose.

3. Banded application. Banded N for row crops will be more effective than broadcasting it.

4. Sidedressing. Sidedress part of the N in 2020 after crop emergence to maximize N use efficiency for long-season crops such as corn.

5. P deficiency. Expect phosphorus deficiency to occur on fields testing low or very low for P.

6. Earlier data. Use past P soil test data on unharvested acres to determine P rates for 2020.

7. Meet P demand. Consider applying additional P for crops with high demand P, such as soybeans.

8. P in spring. Apply banded P in the spring. Starter P is recommended where practical to use it.

9. Potassium recommendations. Follow normal soil test recommendations for potassium. Leaving sugarbeet roots and tops shouldn’t alter the content of available K in the soil. No additional K fertilizer should be required.

10. Sulfur scouting. Be on the lookout for sulfur deficiency. It is not likely but might occur early in the spring and disappear as crops root into subsoil sulfur supplies.

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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