20°
Austria
I'M LOOKING FOR A

FERTILIZER

CONTAINING

NUTRIENT

FOR

CROP

Search
  • Soil texture
    Medium heavy soils, no waterlogging, no subsoil compaction
  • Min. temperature
    5 °C, better 8 °C
  • pH
    Tolerant of slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils; pH optimal: 7.0
  • Water demand
    Min. 600l/m²
  • Vernalisation
    -
  • Plant density
    9-12 grains/m² in single-grain sowing
  • Seeding Depth
    3cm
Sugar Beet
Sugar beet prefers humus rich medium brown and black earth soils with appropriate nutrient replenishment and water storage capacity. However, they also do well in loamy, sandy soils and lighter loess soils although sufficient rainfall or irrigation is important. Their tap root must not encounter any resistance when penetrating the ground; stronger crumb compacting leads to forking and thus to lower beet weights. It is important to sow sugar beet as early as possible, at the first opportunity in spring when the soil is dry enough to avoid compaction. This sensitive crop really needs good soil conditions. Deep-loosening catch crops and previous crops that do not need much handling or harvesting are important.
Key facts
  • Sugar beet fertilization is done in one application.
  • Requires sufficient supply of lime.
  • Adjust nitrogen to the yield level.
  • Boron fertilization is important!
General Information
General Information
Nutrient demand
Nutrient demand
Fertilization
Fertilization

Sugar beet is grown primarily as a raw material for sugar production. On a smaller scale, sugar beet is also used for ethanol or biogas production. The beets are planted using single grain sowing, with 45-50cm row spacing. A maximum of 9-12 grains per m² are sown. The emergence of the seedlings can be hampered by adverse soil structure, slurry and incrustation, and also pests such as flea beetles or clouded drab moths which can decimate plant stocks. Missing seed dressings must be compensated for by applying the relevant insecticide. As cultivation starts early, there is a risk of frost at the time of emergence. The complex weed control process begins with sowing. Herbicide application is particularly important due to the lengthy juvenile development stage. In later stages, abundant leaf growth is important; leaves need to be kept healthy with the use of sugar beet fungicides. Particularly, the treatment of Cercospora contributes to strong and productive stocks until the harvest.

Fertilization of sugar beet
Like all root crops, sugar beet requires not only nitrogen (N fertilization) but also high levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). K extraction can reach several hundred kilos/ha. N fertilization must be adapted to the yield expectation. A sugar beet yield of 70t/ha would require approximately 100 kg N/ha, 90 t/ha would need 120-130 kg N/ha. Too much nitrogen increases the alpha-amino-N content in the beet, which lowers the sugar content and thus reduces sugar yield. Potash also has an influence on the alpha-amino-N content. Too low a supply of potassium causes a lack of metabolism in the fertilized nitrogen. Potassium is also important to regulate the water balance (stomata), carbohydrate synthesis and the storage of photosynthetic products in the leaf and beet. On heavy soils that are not prone to leaching, potassium can be fertilized already in autumn. Fertilization before cultivation with NPK fertilizers is even more efficient.  
Enough magnesium is important for good efficiency in N use. Magnesium as a constituent of chlorophyll is also essential for efficient photosynthesis. Among the trace elements, boron is particularly important for sugar beets. Boron and manganese fertilization can be applied with each crop protection treatment of foliar fertilizers.

Demand and extraction quantities of sugar beet

Element

Uptake

(Unit/t of production)

Removal

(Unit/t of production)

Sensitivity to deficiency

N

2.6

1.2

Very Sensitive

P2O5

0.9

0.6

Very Sensitive

K2O

4.3

2

Very Sensitive

MgO

0.6

0.4

Sensitive

SO3

0.4

0.2

Sensitive

TE

Boron: Soil and/or foliar fertilization 1.5-2kg/ha

The table shows the uptake and removal of nutrients per tonne of sugar beet yield. Demand for potassium is particularly significant. Sulphur, magnesium and boron, possibly also manganese, must be present in appropriate amounts.
For example, a beet yield of 70t/ha takes up 182kg N/ha. Assuming a certain amount of N replenishment from the soil (e.g. 50kg N/ha) and 30kg N/ha from the leguminous intermediate crop, 102kg N/ha would need to be added by fertilization. 84kg N/ha would be removed from the field in harvest.
A large share of the required fertilizer is given just before sugar beet cultivation. This ensures an adequate supply later in the season when the demand for nutrients is high.
On heavy soils, the total amount of nitrogen can be applied before cultivation. The biggest demand for nutrients is in the first phase of growth. Therefore, dose splitting is not relevant. Phosphate and potash fertilizers are either applied in spring directly before cultivation, or possibly in autumn. The application of an NPK compound fertilizer in spring has significant advantages. Only N-application above 100 kg/ha or N-fertilization on lighter soils with a high risk of leaching, the N-application should be split into two doses. About 40 kg/ha N should be provided in the four-leaf stage as a rapidly effective N-form. Since sugar beet is quite sensitive to an intact soil structure and acidification, liming is recommended. Liming as soil preparation should also be done in autumn or early spring. The quantity is based on 1,000kg CaO/ha. Quantities of 1,500kg CaO/ha (best as carbonate of lime), should not be exceeded, in order to avoid boron fixation. Boron is usually provided in small doses as foliar fertilizer. Sulphur is provided using NPK+S compound fertilizers. 

The yield parameters of sugar beet:
  • Number of plants/m²
  • Individual-beet weight
  • Polarisation (sugar content)


Growing approximately nine plants per m² and a strong healthy beet body and leaf mas is ideal and makes for high yields.

First application

Second application

First application

Single dose of total nutrient requirements:
Sugar beet needs its nutrients concentrated at the beginning of growth. Except for a possible fertilization of potassium in the autumn or the soil preparatory liming, all of the fertilizer is applied in the spring right before sowing. Nitrogen levels exceeding 90-100kg N/ha should be split into two doses, mainly on light soils. Boron and other relevant trace elements are continuously supplemented during plant protection measures.

Second application

The second nitrogen dose (if N fertilization is split) is applied at the four-leaf stage with 40kg N/ha using a rapidly effective N-form.