The root crop, which is key for the food industry, will have time to fully mature in 2021, say experts from the August company, the largest Russian manufacturer of plant protection products. The massive reseeding of sugar beets, which took place in 2020, did not repeat, its scale turned out to be several times smaller and this summer the plant will have enough time to gain weight and accumulate a sufficient amount of sucrose. However, in conditions of warm and humid weather, increased attention should be paid to the prevention of leaf spots, as well as root rot, which, during prolonged rains, can deprive farmers of most of the crop.
Since June 1, 2021, agreements fixing wholesale and retail prices for sugar have ceased to operate in Russia. They were concluded in mid-December 2020 between the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, suppliers and retailers in order to maintain the availability of the product for the population. The need for this was a consequence of the low sugar beet harvest in 2020. The reason was drought and other weather phenomena: a significant part of the sown beet seeds were blown out or washed away, so a massive reseeding was required. According to Vladimir Peshekhonov, a leading specialist in product promotion in the Central Black Earth Region, the percentage of sugar beet reseeding last year reached 50-70% in different farms of the country. Such beets simply did not have time to reach technical ripeness - at least to the extent that they were sown on time, and they were much poorer in sucrose content.
“In 2021, the situation is getting better,” says Vladimir Peshekhonov. - Re-sowing is several times less than a year ago: about 10% of all sown areas under sugar beet in the country. The volume of the harvest is also predicted to be higher. It will not be supernatural, however, most likely, we will have a normal, average harvest without a deficit. "
The main territories for the cultivation of sugar beet in Russia are the Kuban, Stavropol, Rostov region and the regions of the Central Chernozem region: Belgorod, Tambov, Lipetsk, Kursk, Voronezh, Oryol, Penza regions. Also, this crop is occupied by small areas in the Nizhny Novgorod region, Mordovia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Altai Territory.
The main diseases that usually reduce the yield of sugar beets - cercosporosis and ramulariasis - worsen the quality of the raw materials obtained and shorten the shelf life of root crops. In Russia, the most harmful is cercosporosis. The named fungal diseases manifest themselves as leaf spots, and leaf damage disrupts the metabolism that occurs inside the plant. In addition, powdery mildew is common in sugar beets. The warm and humid weather that prevailed in the main beet growing regions during the first half of the summer of 2021 created the preconditions for the development of infections. In order to prevent and combat diseases, August specialists recommend such drugs as Raek, Baliy, Rakurs, Kolosal Pro, Tirada, Credo and Benorad.
It should be noted that the treatment of plants with the last two drugs is considered effective for the prevention of the so-called root-eater - a wide range of root rot affecting beet tubers. Rot caused by bacteria that constantly inhabit the soil is most often manifested in conditions of excess rainfall. Root rot is usually more difficult to combat than leaf disease. As Vladimir Peshekhonov points out, outbreaks of bacteriosis have already been registered in the Central Black Earth Region, and specialists from two agro-consulting laboratories "Augusta", which work in the region, are now accepting a large number of applications from farmers for the diagnosis of pathogens. If the downpours drag on again, root rot infestation can become widespread and nearly the entire crop is at risk.
In terms of pests, root crops are usually threatened by the beet weevil, which has proven particularly harmful this year. According to the experts of "August", in order to preserve the crops of beets in the Southern Federal District, agricultural producers have already had to carry out up to four insecticidal treatments. Also, outbreaks of polyphagous pests such as meadow moth or gamma moth can cause damage to the plant. However, experts believe that, in general, 2021 is still quite stable for sugar beets, and they hope for favorable conditions for the development of culture this season.