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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Zinc Enhances Sugar Beet Emergence and Yield on a Calcareous Soil with Marginal Zinc Availability

Authors
item Stevens, William
item Mesbah, Abdel - UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

Submitted to: Western Nutrient Management Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2005
Publication Date: March 3, 2005
Citation: Stevens, W.B., Mesbah, A.O. 2005. Zinc sulfate applied to sugarbeet using broadcast, seed-placed, and foliar methods.In: Proceedings of the Western Nutrient Management Conference. March 2, 2005. Salt Lake City, UT. 6:200-207.

Interpretive Summary: Application of Zn materials to sugar beet grown on a calcareous soil with marginal Zn availability resulted in increased root and sugar yield in one of three years and when averaged across years. Seed-row application of 2 lb Zn/acre as ZnSO4 produced root and sugar yields that were consistently among the highest observed, while both broadcast and foliar application of Zn plus B, Fe, and Mn produced more sporadic results. When averaged over the 3-yr period, seed-row-applied Zn produced a root yield increase of 2.8 tons/acre (11%) and a sugar yield increase of 983 lb/acre (12%) compared to plots (check) that did not receive any Zn application. Seed-row-applied ZnSO4 also enhanced emergence of sugar beet seedlings in two of three years, while broadcast Zn, whether alone or with other micronutrients, did not consistently affect plant population.

Technical Abstract: Zinc fertilization by broadcast, foliar, and seed-row application methods were evaluated as a means to enhance sugar beet (Beta vulagaris L.) production on a calcareous soil with marginal (0.5 to 1.0 ppm) Zn availability. Seed-row-applied ZnSO4 (6 lb ZnSO4/acre, 2 lb Zn/acre) resulted in the most consistent benefit to root yield over the three year study, resulting in an 11% (2.8 ton/acre) root yield increase compared to no Zn application. Broadcast and foliar applications of Zn plus B, Fe, and Mn produced lesser and more sporadic yield increases than did seed-row-applied ZnSO4. Placing the salt-based ZnSO4 in direct contact with seed did not appear to have inhibited seedling emergence; rather it enhanced the rate of emergence in two of the three years. There was evidence that seed-row application of ZnSO4 resulted in stronger and more vigorous seedlings than those obtained with other Zn application methods. Because this study was conducted at only a single location, additional research at other locations is necessary to validate results and justify changes to current guidelines.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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