Eric Hanson wrote: He managed (barely) to crawl out of the cloud, got to the house (fortunately, he was still in the farm yard) and my grandmother drove him off to the hospital.
Eric Hanson wrote:William,
I am a little surprised that sugar beats are not used for fodder more. They get absolutely huge!
I also think that there is a place for them in the garden.
Eric Hanson wrote:Marco,
Planting anything in Minnesota after late summer is dicey at best. My Grandfather was big on trying to get at least some type of cover crop, minimal tillage, leaving debris on the field, leaving plenty of stubble, etc. Unfortunately, by the time he harvested his fall crops, it was a little late to get a new one planted. I realize Gabe Brown does it, but then he saw cover crops differently that my grandfather.
Just as a FYI, While my uncle was all about the sugar beats, my grandfather thought they were more trouble than they were worth. At one point, my uncle was about to spray something like 160 acres of sugar beats with some fungicide 2 weeks before harvest. My uncle's logic was that in order to be effective, the fungicide had to be applied before the fungus. My grandfathers logic: Why was he spending something like &20k for spray 2 weeks before harvesting? Was there really more than $20k at stake in the sugar beats? mind you that even if the beats were infected, it would only affect the top growth. At worst, the beat part would simply stop growing. My grandfather was a pretty conventional farmer by the standards of Permies, but one of the qualities he possessed that made him a successful farmer was that he was always asking these two basic questions: What is it going to cost me and will it pay off in the end? He always treated his crops like valuable commodities. He did not necessarily rush to sell his grain. In fact, he deliberately held back much of his grain so that he could sell it off season when the price was higher. At one point, the price of soy beans was spiking dramatically (he followed crop prices constantly). He drove off to the grain elevator with a load of soybeans in an old, beat-up grain truck and drove back in a new, much bigger grain truck! He was very good that way.
C. Letellier wrote:I am going to say the answer is yes. The first modern soil science seminar I went to, one of the speakers was no till potato farmer from Colorado. They were doing a 2 year rotation and only doing spuds every other year. So if it works on spuds that have to be dug surely it can be made to work in beets. Here is one of the videos from that speaker. If you hunt the internet he has several others.
Marco Banks wrote:If you had enough land, you could rotate crops:
Year 1: Sugar Beets
Year 2: Cash crop (corn/beans/grain) with a cover crop.
Do people no-till plant the beets? That would be at least one-less turning of the soil.
As I understand it, sugar beets can't be harvested until the temperatures are in a certain lower range, and if it gets too hot, you can' harvest them at all. Because they are harvested so late in the fall, it's difficult to think of planting a cover crop after they've been taken off the field because there wouldn't be enough time and warm days for the crop to germinate and grow. But could you sew a cover crop between the beet rows once the beets have gotten big enough that the cover crop wouldn't compete for sunlight?
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