Home News Michigan Ag News Michigan’s Sugarbeet Condition Holding Steady as Growers are Managing Weeds, Applying Fungicides

Michigan’s Sugarbeet Condition Holding Steady as Growers are Managing Weeds, Applying Fungicides

A sure sign of warm weather, sugarbeets coming up in Michigan behind
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home. Photo: Betaseed Twitter

Michigan’s sugarbeet quality is holding steady. According to this week’s Crop Progress Report, 60 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent and 32 percent is in fair condition.

Rob Gerstenberger, Betaseed sales manager for Michigan, said the beet-growing region could use some water.

“We need a nice rain—we haven’t had a good, all-day soaker yet this spring, so that’s what everyone’s been waiting on,” he said.

Beets made it through the Memorial Day frost relatively unscathed. However, a lot of beet growers had to replant acres after the frost event in early May.

“This was the second year in a row where we’ve had a significant replant on sugarbeets,” said Gerstenberger. “Replanting went pretty well—it was a struggle because the dry conditions we went though and cool again. Even after replant, it almost took 20 days to get the replanted sugarbeets to emerge.”

Now that it’s in the thick of the growing season, the next thing beet growers need to manage weeds and start prepping their sprayers for fungicides.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to get that first application because that’s the most important application for cercospora control,” said Gerstenberger. “A lot of growers have been putting Quadris on to help control rhizoctonia.”

Some of the earlier planted beets are halfway to row closure, giving Gerstenberger a lot of optimism for the 2021 crop.

“I would say the potential is real similar to what we had going into this time of year last year,” he said. We ended up with a really nice crop last fall. If we could get similar conditions, we could have a great crop again.”