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Planting and Growing Sugar Beets

Planting of the sugar beet crop in southern Minnesota begins in mid to late April of each year. Shareholders plant varieties, which have been previously tested and approved for planting. Sugar beet varieties are approved based upon the varieties ability to meet or exceed a minimum standard for both extractable sugar per ton and extractable sugar per acre.

Planting a Sugarbeet field

Sugar beet seedlings begin emerging from the soil 10 days to two weeks after being planted. Sugar beets are dicotyledons and emerge with two leaves. Sugar beets are very susceptible to wind damage, chewing insects and seedling disease until they reach the 4-6 leaf stage. At this time, they become very hearty and will survive many weather extremes. Herbicides are applied to sugarbeets to control weeds until the sugar beet canopy becomes large enough to shade the area between the rows. Once full canopies are established (July 1), weed pressure and competition with the sugar beet is greatly reduced. For more detailed information on growing sugar beets, see the Sugarbeet Guide pages.

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