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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EVALUATING BETA GERMPLASM FOR RESISTANCE TO IMPORTANT PESTS AND DISEASE

Location: Sugarbeet Research

Title: Relationship Between Subsoil Nitrogen Availability and Sugar Beet Processing Quality

Authors
item Stevanato, Piergiorgio - PADUA UNIVERSITY
item Marchetti, Rosa - CRA MODENA, ITALY
item Bertaggia, Marco - CRA ROVIGO, ITALY
item Saccomani, Massimo - PADUA UNIVERSITY
item MCGRATH, J MITCHELL
item PANELLA, LEONARD
item Biancardi, Enrico - CRA ROVIGO, ITALY
item Zavalloni, Constanza -

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 23, 2009
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
Citation: Stevanato, P., Zavalloni, C., Marchetti, R., Bertaggia, M., Saccomani, M., Mcgrath, J.M., Panella, L.W., Biancardi, E. 2010. Relationship Between Subsoil Nitrogen Availability and Sugar Beet Processing Quality. Agronomy Journal: 102 (1)17-22.

Interpretive Summary: The aim of this study was to verify the possibility that undetected amounts of available nitrogen in the deep soil could explain the often observed lowering of sugar content and processing quality during the harvest of sugar beet. In 29 field trials carried out in north-eastern Italy, chemical properties of soil down to nine feet in depth were correlated to some impurities of the roots, which reduced the proportion of sugar which can be extracted in the factory. In some cases 50 times more ammonium nitrogen was found in the deeper layers of the rooting zone than was in the plowed soil. A higher concentration of ammonium nitrogen reduced the processing quality. Since nitrogen excess reduces the beet grower's income and increases environmental pollution, the presence of possible surplus in the soil explored by the roots should be monitored carefully to avoid risking over-estimation of nitrogen needs, leading to more fertilizer use than strictly necessary.

Technical Abstract: The aim of this study was to verify the possibility that undetected amounts of available nitrogen in the deep soil could explain the often observed lowering of sugar content and processing quality during the harvest of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris). In 29 field trials carried out on alluvial soils in north-eastern Italy, chemical properties of soil down to three meters in depth were correlated to some impurities of the roots, reducing the proportion of sugar which can be extracted in the factory. High content of ammonium nitrogen was found frequently in the deeper layers of the rooting zone, in some cases 50 times more than in the ploughed soil. A negative correlation was established between the concentration of ammonium nitrogen and the processing quality. Since nitrogen excess reduces the beet grower's income and increases environmental pollution, the presence of possible surplus in the soil explored by the roots should be monitored carefully to avoid risking over-estimation of nitrogen needs, leading to more fertilizer use than strictly necessary.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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