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First time BEET

Discussion in 'Cropping' started by Rob_AD, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Rob_AD

    Rob_AD Member

    Looking into growing beet this year for the first time, 20-30 acres, with view to a bit more in following year if it goes ok.

    Drill after risk of frost has passed, make ground ready as for cereals. Been told it needs 2-3 early herbicides, caterpillar spray, 2 sprays of boron and then a spray of punch in August to keep the leaves strong for pulling with an Armer.

    Is a single row harvester going to be up to the job or do you want 2 row? If 2 row, does it restrict you to a drill with the same row spacing?

    How do you get the field opened up when harvesting with a side lifter - surely the tractor tramples a lot of beet on the headlands?

    Would you be aiming to start lifting in September and just lift little and often as weather allows until say November and then get it all out? We're in a wet part of the world...

    Any other advice would be greatly received :scratchhead:
  2. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Get an agronomist - you'll need to be a bit more scientific about the spray programme... I used 2 fungicides a month apart srarting in late July unless I know I'll be lifting in September when one will suffice.

    Beet is very sensitive to compaction. Most growers use light spring tine/cage roller combinations on tractors equipped with LGP tyres for working down, not heavy tillage tools.

    Harvesting is best left as late as reasonably possible without destroying the field but I appreciate that you want to keep the AD plant's intake steady without shock changes to its diet. The crop gains a lot of bulk in September - mid November.

    Lift the headlands first! I've only used a self propelled harvester so can't comment on opening up fields.
    shakerator likes this.
  3. Flat 10

    Flat 10 Member

    Fen Edge
    Read the thread posted by @Colin I think it was. read info from bbro. will tell you everything.
    Don't think caterpillars are normally a problem? Use narrow wheels on tractor for opening up........
  4. Rob_AD

    Rob_AD Member

    Had a search but don't see his thread sorry??
  5. shakerator

    shakerator Member

    can you put a spring cereal on the headlands just a combine header or 2....or a logistical nightmare?
    Against_the_grain likes this.
  6. Great In Grass

  7. Rob_AD

    Rob_AD Member

    Lateral thinking, I like it. 20ac field so it could possibly work with a run of whole crop around the outside
    Great In Grass and Brisel like this.
  8. Flat 10

    Flat 10 Member

    Fen Edge
    When I just looked there are 13 started by him! I thought they were all the same one.
  9. Colin

    Colin Member

    Did beet for first time last year, managed to average 65t/ha which is ok for "here" got a lot of info from bbro also spoke to my agronomist a bit. Drilled early April, ploughed fibrophos and sylvinite down with press towed behind then deep power Harrow. 3 or 4 herbicides 2 fungicides and trace elements. I'm going to drill a lower seed rate at a wider row spacing as there were a lot of small beet. Going to cut back to 100000 on 50cm rows. Used split dose of extran for the n and some S in seedbed.
    Flat 10 and Great In Grass like this.
  10. shakerator

    shakerator Member

    Often put beans on tough headlands or heavier areas and improving access to the rows in the process no headlands and could take beet out of beans with basagran on any overlapped bits

    I love not growing beet now however
  11. Flat 10

    Flat 10 Member

    Fen Edge
    Sounds a low seed rate to me. Most here would be drilling quite a bit more than that.....
  12. Ian01

    Ian01 Member

    I would say if you are going to lift in stages, your best to either put a combinable crop around the headland as mentioned above, or only lift the section of headland for each batch of beet you are going to lift. If you lift all your headlands to start with, the beet harvester will disturb the soil, then when it rains it will go like a pudding, causing problems when you come back to it, making it hard work and a mess when you want to turn around. The contractor we used for beet lifting only lifted enough headland for the beet he was going to lift in that batch, as freshly lifted ground generally travels well, but once it gets a rain or two on it,it's a different story.
    shakerator, Spud and Brisel like this.
  13. Oat

    Oat Member

    Beet needs a really good seedbed, since it is precision drilled and not a very compettive crop, so cannot compensate very well for gaps or misses. Therefore try and get the best seedbed and tilth as possible. there are plenty of old Stannay drills around, but depending on wheel spaccing, you may want to have an eradication tine between the tractor wheels. Most people plough in the winter and let the frost do some of the cultivation for them.

    As mentioned above, weed control is quite complicated. many people use the approach of little often with low rates. The first application is usually pre-em or early post-em of the crop when weeds first emerge. Then further applications are made as new weeds emerge- this may be 2-4 applications at 5-20 day intervals depending on weed emergence. The main herbicides are standalone or mixtures of phenmedipham, desmendipham, ethofumesate and metamitron which have been around for decades. Other options are triflusulfuron, chloridazon and lenacil which can be added to the first 4. Triflusulfuron (Debut) is probably the best later post-em, but its weed spectrum may be limited. The best approach is to start with a broad-spectrum herbicide early, and then follow up with specific ones targeted at the weeds emerging, and not allow the weeds to get too big (best to control them at cotyledon or first true leaves- hence spray as new weed flushes emerge.

    Fungicide applications normally start in July depending on disease pressure. 1-2 applications is normally enough, about a month apart, depending on when you going to lift.

    Harvest can be any time from September to Feb, and depending on your market you may be compensated for the lower yield early on, or if quality deteriorates later on.
    Rob_AD and Great In Grass like this.
  14. I have grown beet in a variety of places which most growers would dread.

    Get the land ploughed pronto if it isn't already, let the frost do the work.

    Seed bed needs to be good, but don't drill too early in a late spring.

    Beware flea beetle once it has emerged, but generally not a problem as seed dressing sorts them.

    Pre-emergence herbicide needs to be tailored to weed spectrum and your pocket, I won't make it any more complicated for now.

    Repeated doses of herbicide are needed usually to control BLWs, the sprays are not that great if I am honest, get on your hands and knees and hit them early- get them at cotelydon stage and no later, if they get bigger than a 20 pence coin you can start to have issues which is where Debut comes in and the cost increases, also your chance of hitting the beet increases as well.

    Graminicides to deal with wild oats etc, just leave a gap between spraying either side of them as they de-wax the beet. I've seen it done.

    Beet wants boron (I use Spire) on it once there is a half sensible canopy, I normally put it in with the fungicides in July. A variety of fungicides can be used, I personally tend to rely on Opera, which isn't dirt cheap but it has a side effect of keeping the beet greener for longer or at least that is what my imagination tells me. Beware of mildew in beet as it is a real sod in a humid season.

    Lifting can start in September if they are large enough, October is generally better, lift anywhen you like after that normally.

    I'm not that up with modern beet nutrition as all my land is covered with manure and I've never used more than 70 units of N in the seed bed.


    If you are using the beet as your break crop and you are in blackgrass territory, make maximum use of the pre-em options, don't go cheap. This is your best chance to really give your blackgrass a serious headache.
    Rainmaker and Brisel like this.
  15. Colin

    Colin Member

    I was at 125000 last year, 85% grew and there were quite a lot of small ones.
  16. Exfarmer

    Exfarmer Member

    Bury St Edmunds
    The herbicide regime is critical! Spraying must be done early never late, if you are using phenmedipham products very low volume is essential.
    Do get an agronomist with knowledge involved.
    The number of times I sprayed for caterpillars is virtually none but aphids are critical as the carry virus yellows.
    Boron will normally only be needed on certain soils, beet also is very greedy for manganese.
    Lifting with an Armer, good luck. There are other trailed harvesters , personally I would go for a Tim or Thyrogod
    Opening up will mean some run down unless you can find a tractor with 12 inch tyres, even then you will lose a fair few .
    Had a neighbour who planted on a very unusual row spacing in think it was 4 x 16 inch followed by a 24 inch space rpeated.
    So a tractor on 18 tyres at 76 inch spacing had room to work.
    It suited him, but dont think a contractor would ever come and help out
  17. Rob_AD

    Rob_AD Member

    Thankyou for all the advice so far. Looking likely we will put in 20-30 ac this year for the first time.

    When it comes to fert, I have spoken to one person who successfully sows all fert at the beginning and doesn't go back into it again. Whats the consensus on here? I know some drills can put it in with the seed and but not enough for the full rate, so would need top dressed again later in the season.

    Whats wrong with lifting with an Armer? I thought with a Tim or Thyrgod you lift stones and soil along with the beet?
  18. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    30 kg of N on the seedbed then the rest on before the first true leaves. Some down the spout would be better.

    Your risk by putting it all on early is a big rain leaching it away from the seedling.
  19. DrWazzock

    DrWazzock Member

    The Armer struggles if the tops aren't very big or if they die down with frost. We had one on demo in the seventies and the beet would nearly make it to the topper then fall on the ground. I was a little lad at the time but I can remember it like it was yesterday.
  20. Rob_AD

    Rob_AD Member

    We don't usually get big frosts here before Christmas, I was also advised there is a spray called Punch that can be applied in August which helps maintain the leaf. If the frost did beat me I can get my hands on a Thyregod locally

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