2015 Sugarbeet Seed Week meetings will help in variety selection

When selecting sugarbeet varieties for the 2016 planting season, consider multiple factors including yield, sugar content, disease and pest resistance.

Michigan Sugar Company and Michigan State University Extension conduct variety trials to evaluate the positive and negative traits of each variety. This testing program is comprehensive and involves small and field-scale trials. Michigan Sugar Company research program conducts the official variety testing. From this testing program, varieties are evaluated and determined if they will be approved for planting. The MSU Sugarbeet Advancement program will then take approved varieties and test them under grower management in replicated strip trials.

Evaluating results in small trials and larger strip trials has proven to be an effective mean in selecting varieties. This two-tiered testing procedure is unique to the Michigan sugarbeet industry. Growers are able to assess varieties under variable growing conditions and management practices. Varieties that consistently perform well under variable conditions (trials) should gain the largest piece of the pie for planting. This process has allowed Michigan to become the leader in yield and quality improvement in the nation.

The genetic potential for yield and quality is important, but do not forget to consider resistance to diseases and pests. Each approved variety is also tested in nurseries for its resistance or tolerance to a host of pests and diseases. These will include Rhizoctonia, Cercospora leaf spot, Aphanomycetes, root aphid and nematodes. In many of our sugarbeet fields we will have one or more of these issues. Correct variety selection on a field-by-field basis is very important to minimize the impact of these issues.

Growers are encouraged to attend the 2015 Research Education Advisory Council (REACh) Sugarbeet Seed Week meetings and utilize the 2015 REACh Variety Trial Research Report for variety selection. This is the best source of current variety information that has been conducted by the Michigan Sugar Company, MSU Sugarbeet Advancement and individual seed companies.

See below for dates and locations. These programs are held Dec. 1-7, 2015, in five locations in the growing region. All programs are 3.5 hours long and will include information from researchers and seed company representatives. All programs run from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and include complimentary lunch. There is no charge to attend these programs, but to help with meal counts, please contact Karlie at the Saginaw County MSU Extension office at vanpopp8@msu.edu or at 989-758-2500, ext. 237.

2015 Sugarbeet Seed Week dates and location

Dec. 1 – Mt. Pleasant
Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort
6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

Dec. 2 – Ubly
Ubly Heights Golf Course
2409 East Atwater Road
Ubly, MI 48475

Dec. 3 – Frankenmuth
Bavarian Inn Lodge
1 Covered Bridge Ln.
Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Dec. 4 – Sebewaing
Bay Shore Camp
450 N. Miller Street
Sebewaing, MI 48759-0624

Dec. 7 – Ontario
Country View Golf Course
25393 Hwy. 40
Dover Center, Ontario, Canada NOP 1LO

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