Date of this Version
Published in Sugar Tech: An International Journal of Sugar Crops and Related Industries 12: 3–4 (September and December 2010), pp. 256–266; doi: 10.1007/s12355-010-0037-1
Global sugar beet production spans diverse regions and a wide range of climatic and agroecological regions from rainfed to irrigated production which presents unique management challenges. Sound nutrient management now and into the future must be balanced between production efficiency and managing to have less impact on the environment. N management continues to improve with more precise N rates. Soil testing for N supplying capability plus residual N will need to be increased to enhance productivity and N use efficiency. Newer cultivation techniques, N placement and timing can also fine tune N rates. In irrigated areas, improvements in N management will be coupled with better water management and conversion of furrow irrigation to sprinklers will accelerate improvements. Enhanced efficiency fertilizer products hold promise but require additional research under a range of conditions to determine cost and production effectiveness. Management for secondary and micronutrients seems adequate at this time. Precision agricultural applications for expanded site specific management in sugar beet are just beginning. Work with maize and wheat point to the potential of creating different management zones in fields and by using remote or close sensing to determine N status for N applications. Similar research will be needed to continue efficient sugar beet production.