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Zone Tillage in Sugae Beets - 2009

Regitnig, P.. 2009.


In an experiment evaluating nitrogen rates and forms, percent sugar was significantly reduced with 200 lb N/acre of applied fertilizer compared to a check treatment. Amino nitrogen levels in sugar beets were significantly increased and leaf canopy colour was significantly greener with increasing nitrogen fertilizer rates. There were no significant differences in yield and quality parameters between urea and ESN forms of nitrogen in this trial. When the same rate of nitrogen was applied, there were also no significant differences in yield and quality parameters when zone tillage was compared to a reduced residue tillage treatment. In a second experiment investigating the effect of phosphorus rates and placement, sugar beet root yield was significantly increased with all phosphorus applications applied. Increasing the rate above 25 lbs P2O5/acre in fall had no additional benefit and a spring in-furrow rate of 12 lbs P2O5/acre resulted in a similar root yield response as higher fall applications. Splitting the nitrogen and phosphorus bands had no effect on sugar beet response to P in this trial. In a third experiment examining nitrogen rates with and without inter-row cultivation, significant increases in plant vigour and root yield occurred with applied fertilizer nitrogen. Inter-row cultivation did not affect these factors, but reduced extractable sugar per tonne and appeared to increase the level of soil nitrate nitrogen. Observations of reduced plant vigour and root yield with zone tillage in previous Alberta trials were not explained by monitoring inter-row cultivation in this trial. A second year of testing will be conducted in 2010.