Date of this Version
Agronomy 2020, 10, 537; doi:10.3390/agronomy10040537
Agricultural use of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), a byproduct of sugar clarification process, as a possible source of nutrients and pest and disease control in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris.) needs a careful examination of the risk and benefit assessment at various levels of management and production. A series of controlled environment studies were conducted in Scottsbluﬀ, NE, to assess the 1) eﬀect of PCC on root aphids in sugar beet, and 2) risk of the weed kochia spreading by applying PCC to agricultural land and its chemical control strategy, by conducting various dose-response studies. A replicated lab study was conducted twice to determine the eﬀect of PCC on root aphid in sugar beet using three rates of PCC (9, 18, and 27 Mg ha−1) and a control. The results showed that root aphid populations in all PCC-amended treatments were significantly reduced when compared to the control (p < 0.05). Two cycles of dose-response studies using the herbicides Roundup and Clarity at 6 concentrations revealed that kochia biotypes grown on PCC piles at three western sugar production locations were eﬀectively controlled (LD50) with the current rate recommendations administered in this region for both herbicides. More field experiments are needed to confirm the results of these controlled environment studies.