Semester of Graduation
First Major Professor
Master of Science (MS)
As sugar beet production approaches or surpasses factory slice rate and process capacity, increasing the amount of sugar in each sugar beet becomes emphasized. A major obstacle to raising a high sugar, high quality sugar beet is excessive nitrogen fertility. Sugar beets yield increases with nitrogen fertility, but sugar beet quality is detrimentally impacted by nitrogen fertility. The objective of this study was to determine if a producer can increase harvest plant population in high nitrogen situations and mitigate the negative impacts of the excess nitrogen. This study was conducted in two environments during the 2019 growing season in a replicated complete block design with a split plot arrangement of six replications. Four nitrogen rates comprised the whole plot and two plant populations comprised the split plot arrangement and were applied at both locations. Fertilizer was applied by hand to reach a total available soil nitrogen level of 120, 160, 200, and 240 lbs ac-1 and incorporated with a field cultivator. Sugar beet was planted at a rate of 120,000 plants ac-1 to ensure adequate establishment and stands were thinned after stand establishment to populations of 43,800 and 71,300 plants ac-1. Nitrogen rate significantly affected quality parameters of percent sugar, percent purity, brei nitrate ppm, and extractable sugar per ton, and the highest quality sugar beet crops were produced on soil fertilized to 120 lbs total available soil N ac-1. Plant populations did not significantly impact sugar beet quality, but did significantly impact sugar beet yield and extractable sugar per acre. Extractable sugar per acre was maximized at 120 lbs available soil N ac-1 and 71,300 plants ac-1. Extractable sugar per ton was maximized at 120 lbs N per acre.
Groen, Cody J., "Manipulating sugarbeet plant population to compensate for high nitrogen fertility in southern Minnesota" (2020). Creative Components. 502.