Zone Nutrient Management in Sugarbeet Production

Managing nitrogen in sugarbeet production by breaking fields into management zones has proven to be one of the best nitrogen management tools. Most sugarbeet growers are aware of the statistics being compiled each year by American Crystal Sugar. The figure compares the revenue per acre when comparing nitrogen management based on no soil test, conventional soil testing, grid soil testing and zone soil testing. With 7 years of data, the revenue for zone soil testing is $33.00 higher than conventional soil testing and $131 higher than when growers use no soil test. The differences in revenue are the result of the factors listed below:

  1. Putting the nitrogen fertilizer where it is needed
  2. Lower sugar loss to molasses
  3. Potentially using less fertilizer
  4. Increased % sugar
  5. Increased tonnage
  6. Wise use of costly N fertilizer
  7. Environmentally friendly

Zone nutrient management has now proven itself in the sugarbeet industry. In other cropping situations, zone nutrient management is growing quickly because of the reasonable cost, the technology is easy to work with and it just makes sense.