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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improved Sugar Beet Germplasm and Innovative Disease Management Approaches to Increase Yield and Reduce Product Losses

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Root rot in sugar beet piles at harvest

Author
item Strausbaugh, Carl

Submitted to: The Sugarbeet
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 19, 2014
Publication Date: April 7, 2014
Citation: Strausbaugh, C.A. 2014. Root rot in sugar beet piles at harvest. The Sugarbeet. Spring:23.

Interpretive Summary: Sugar beet root rots are not only a concern because of reduced yields, but can also be associated with losses in storage. Our primary sugar beet root rot disease problem in the Amalgamated production area is Rhizoctonia root rot. However, this rot frequently only penetrates a short distance past the surface of the root before a bacterial complex stops the fungus and continues the rot process. This rot complex leads to direct yield loss at harvest time along with additional costs in factory processing. When rotted roots make it into storage piles, they have been shown to compromise surrounding healthy roots. A recent end-of-harvest storage pile survey of 74 to 76% of the piles at receiving stations in Treasure Valley and Magic Valley has identified rotted roots entering storage. In Treasure Valley, the number of piles in the High category was almost cut in half, while the number of piles in the Low category was more than doubled. In the Magic Valley, the number on piles in the High category was eliminated and those in the Intermediate category were reduced by 66%. Thus, it appears that the efforts at harvest to keep rotted roots out of piles were successful. Controlling root rots in the field improves yield, but keeping rotted roots out of storage should increase profits as well.

Technical Abstract: Sugar beet root rots are not only a concern because of reduced yields, but can also be associated with losses in storage. Our primary sugar beet root rot disease problem in the Amalgamated production area is Rhizoctonia root rot. However, this rot frequently only penetrates a short distance past the surface of the root before a bacterial complex stops the fungus and continues the rot process. This rot complex leads to direct yield loss at harvest time along with additional costs in factory processing. When rotted roots make it into storage piles, they have been shown to compromise surrounding healthy roots. A recent end-of-harvest storage pile survey of 74 to 76% of the piles at receiving stations in Treasure Valley and Magic Valley has identified rotted roots entering storage. In Treasure Valley, the number of piles in the High category was almost cut in half, while the number of piles in the Low category was more than doubled. In the Magic Valley, the number on piles in the High category was eliminated and those in the Intermediate category were reduced by 66%. Thus, it appears that the efforts at harvest to keep rotted roots out of piles were successful. Controlling root rots in the field improves yield, but keeping rotted roots out of storage should increase profits as well.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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