Replanting other crops after a sugar beet stand is lost

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included

Standing water or other issues such as herbicide carryover from previous crops can often times lead to bare areas in a sugarbeet field. In these abandoned areas, one question that grower’s often have, “Is what can be replanted in these areas?”, particularly where herbicide applications have been made for weed control in sugarbeets. What can be replanted depends on what herbicides have been applied. Here are some factors to consider for each of the herbicides that are typically used for weed control in sugarbeets.

Nortron (PRE). The Nortron label states, “….do not plant crops other than sugarbeets or ryegrass in treated land in the same season.” This can be a problem if sugarbeets can’t be replanted. In Michigan, a majority of the Nortron that is used for weed control in sugarbeets is applied in a band. Therefore, the soil area between the bands is not treated and planting the replant crop between the bands may reduce the chance for crop injury. The sensitivity of possible replant crops are as follows: small grains > corn > soybean > dry edible beans. Dry edible beans are the most tolerant and are the best choice as a replant crop following a soil application of Nortron.

Pyramin (PRE). Pyramin is another herbicide that is typically applied PRE in a band. The Pyramin label reads, “Do not plant other crops in the treated band.” Again, similar to Nortron, planting the replant crop between the treated bands may reduce the chances of injury to the replant crop.

Herbicides in micro-rate treatments

Betamix or Progress.Betamix has very little residual activity. The only rotational restriction that is listed on the label is not to rotate to cereal grain crops for 120 days. Progress has the same restriction listed on the label. However, with Progress there is a reduced rate of ethofumesate (same active ingredient as Nortron) in this formulation, so keep this in mind when choosing a replant crop.

UpBeet. All crops, other than corn, can be planted 14 days after an UpBeet application. For corn, there is a 21-day recrop restriction.

Stinger. Stinger is the herbicide, that is the most restrictive of the herbicides used in micro-rate applications. The crop rotation interval for applying Stinger and planting soybeans or dry edible beans is 10.5 months. The rotation interval increases to 18 months if soil organic matter is less than 2 percent and there is less than 15 inches of precipitation in the 10 months following the application. Stinger degradation is dependent on several factors: application rate, soil texture, temperature and moisture. The half life of Stinger is 30 to 90 days depending on these factors. Stinger degradation from microbes is greatest in warm-moist soils. Therefore, if 2 fl oz/A of Stinger is applied on May 1, 1 oz/A will be remaining on June 1 if soils are warm and moist. Because of the sensitivity of soybeans and dry beans to Stinger the question of replanting one of these crops in areas of sugar beet fields can be tricky. There is a high risk of bean injury and reduced yields in areas of abandoned sugar beet fields where Stinger was applied. The risk can somewhat be reduced by:

  • Planting dry beans in mid- to late- June.
  • Low rates of Stinger (1 to 2 fl oz/A) applied April or early May.
  • High soil moisture and temperature.
  • Low organic matter.
  • Tillage to dilute the remaining residues.

However, taking all of these factors into consideration does not guarantee a healthy bean crop.

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