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David Sparks Ph.d ACH Seeds
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 21, 2018

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ACH Seeds, marketer of Crystal® Brand Sugarbeet Seed, is in its 6th year of the Sugar Bounty program, and the company says they are pleased to see growers continue to prioritize sugar content while balancing the need for disease resistance traits in seed.


The ACH Seeds Sugar Bounty program recognizes and rewards growers for producing and achieving the highest recoverable sugar per ton in their respective growing district using Crystal Brand sugarbeet seed.  Improving quality (specifically sugar content) is not easy in an environment of ever-increasing disease and pest pressure.


“All sugarbeet regions of the United States are now threatened with Cercospora leaf spot, Apha-nomyces, Fusarium, sugarbeet cyst nematode, root aphid, powdery mildew, and multiple strains of rhizomania,” explains Dave Braaten, ACH Seeds National Product Manager. “Recognizing and incorporating genetics that keep pace with new challenges is a key to achieving consistently high sugar content in the presence of a variety of environmental challenges.”


“Although we don’t have the heavy disease pressure that growers have in wetter regions, we still have Rhizoctonia, Cercospora, Fusarium and nematodes,” says Del Nollmeyer who rotates sugar beets with spring wheat near Savage, Mont.  “For the last few years, we have planted exclusively Crystal seed because we have seen really good results in their 2-3-year strip trials, and in our own fields, too.”


In fact, Nollmeyer was a 2015 ACH Sugar Bounty winner, with yields of 40 tons/acre and sugar content of 19.25 percent.  He said 2015 was his best year on record, and this past season, 2016, was his second best, averaging 37.7 tons/acre with an average sugar content of 18 percent. “Some of my acres are under center pivot irrigation, others are flood irrigated, and each field has different soil, so I plant two to three varieties of Crystal seed, matching the characteristics of the seeds to each field.  But really varieties are getting better and better, and with the seed treatment options available, they all seem to do well in any type of soil.”


Putting together the best combinations of genetics with seed treatments is the idea behind ACH Seeds’ Diamond PlatedTM seed treatment series, which effectively bundles seed treatments and enhancement products within each U.S. sugarbeet growing region. Since the series was introduced in 2006, four new treatment options and many varietal combinations have been added to the mix, supporting the industry with the best seed treatments available to sugarbeet growers.


According to Braaten, ACH Seeds continues to develop and access an always-improving selection of beet seed genetics, and combine them with the best possible seed treatments, to successfully respond to both disease and pest challenges — all the while delivering higher sugar content.


“We know growing sugarbeets has its complications today,” continues Braaten. “Fortunately, ACH Seeds develops Crystal Beet Seed varieties to address a wide range of in-field challenges, while meeting the new standards set for higher sugar per ton per acre.”

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