Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family. Chard, fodder beet and red beet also belong to this family. Sugar beet is a biennial plant. In the first year, the plant remains vegetative and initially uses all its energy to build up the leaf apparatus and the root system. Later in the season, the plant forms a thickened taproot, in which a large part of the dry matter is stored as reserve food in the form of sugar. About 17% of the thickened taproot consists of sugar.
Various factors play a role in the yield and quality of the crop. Besides an efficient production of sugars, the transport of sugars to the tuber is also important.
Select a stage for more information
Soiltech has no specific products for this stage. We would like to refer you to our sister company Van Iersel Compost.
Immediately after sowing, the seed germinates and the roots develop. Well-developed roots ensure a good absorption of minerals and moisture from the soil and thus form the basis of a good harvest.
A mineral that is very important for root development is phosphate. A plant needs phosphate for cell division but also for the production of all kinds of enzymes and plant hormones that regulate growth in the plant.
Another substance that promotes root development is humic acid. Humic acid promotes the formation of hair roots and thus stimulates the absorption of phosphate. For an optimal effect, humic acid should be applied in good time. Apply it during the cultivation preparation stage so that it can contribute to a better root system from the very start of root development.
Boron is another important element, a deficiency of which will lead to a loss of yield. Sugar beets are very much in need of boron; a deficiency leads to the well-known deficiency phenomenon of heart rot.
Soiltech has no specific products for this stage. From the closing of the rows, we are in the next stage: foliage development. At this stage, Optima Vigor+ can be applied (see stage 4).
A good development of the foliage is decisive for a good sugar yield. During photosynthesis, sugars are formed in the leaf. Sufficient leaf mass, chloroplasts and efficient photosynthesis are crucial for sugar production in the plant. To stimulate the production of sugars in the leaf and the transport of these sugars to the tuber, we developed Optima Vigor+ (Optima Sugar+). This product contains an easily absorbable form of calcium, manganese and complex trace elements that stimulate sugar production and transport.
Advice at this stage
Period: from the closing of the rows.
Application: 2-4 times x 3-4 litres / ha Optima Vigor+ as leaf fertiliser during leaf development.
Soiltech has no specific products for this stage. Apply the product Optima Leaf-K in time as soon as full growth of the foliage is reached (at least 6 weeks before harvest!). See stage 6.
Ripening and root filling
When the leaves are fully grown, more and more sugars and nutrients are transported to the beet, causing it to swell. At this stage, sugar beet has a very high need for potassium (K). Potassium plays an essential role in the movement of sugars and nutrients in the sap stream. A foliar spray with potassium during the filling of the beet is important, because plants are only able to absorb potassium from the soil moisture. A common problem is that under wet conditions during cultivation potassium leaches out relatively easily (this is especially the case on sandy soils). In dry conditions the soil moisture, and thus the availability of potassium to the crop, decreases rapidly. A potassium deficiency during the filling phase has a direct negative effect on the quantity and quality of the beet to be harvested.
Soiltech has developed Optima Leaf-K, consisting of organically-complexed potassium, especially for the root filling phase. Unlike other potassium foliar fertilizers, Optima Leaf-K has a low EC, a neutral pH and is easily miscible with other agents in the tank.
Advice at this stage:
Foliar spraying - Optima Leaf-K: 5 litres/ha, apply 3 times before harvest with an interval of 14 days.
Soiltech has no specific products for this stage.