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Author Topic: A Letter from Frigid Forage  (Read 1696 times)

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Offline Mayfly

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Hi Folks,

The weatherman said this week that over 60% of the Country has a snow pack. That is a pretty amazing statistic when you think about it. Although Minnesota still holds the title of the "Nation's Icebox", we're definitely not keeping it all to ourselves this year.

Regardless of our weather, we are still on a steady march towards Spring and it won't be long before we are out playing in the dirt once again. To kick things off we are having a 1/2 price sale on our North Dakota sugar beets that are left from last season (while supplies last). **Price indicated on the web site is half the regular price**

Sugar beets are a great Fall attractant as deer first eat the leaves then return to dig up the beets. Ask anybody though who has planted them, and they will tell you that sugar beets can be a difficult crop to grow. To be successful beets like ideal growing conditions and they do not like weeds. Remember, these are NOT Round-Up ready beets. Weeds must be sprayed before planting because once they are in the ground you cannot spray for weeds.

Sugar beets also do not tolerate a low PH level. Anything less than 6.5 can spell trouble, so be sure to test your soil and apply the proper amount of lime if needed. For these reasons I very seldom plant beets alone. I like to mix them in with another brassica such as purple top turnips or any variety of rape to cover by bases. I also plant most of my sugar beets in late summer. The beets do not get as large, but you have more time for proper weed control and you get plenty of leaf growth which is what the deer eat first. Beets also like fertilizer, so you don't want to skimp or you won't end up with much to show for your efforts.

Brassicas are best seeded on well prepared soil with a broadcast spreader and then cultipact firmly into the ground. If you don't have access to a cultipacker, drive an atv or garden tractor over the field to pack it down. The planting rate for sugar beets is about 8-10 lbs an acre and most other brassicas are 5-6 lbs an acre. If you blend them with another seed keep this in mind and do not over-seed. Planting brassicas is definitely not the case where "if a little is good, more must be better". If you plant too heavy you will just stunt and starve your plants and you won't end up with much of a crop.

Good luck and I hope I didn't scare you too much. To make your job a little easier I will include an envelope for a soil test. Instructions are included in the packet, but all you need to do is send a sample of your soil to a lab in WI. Just include a check for the appropriate fee and send it all together in the pre-paid envelope. Results of your soil analysis will be returned to you so you can be sure and supply the proper needs to your soil for the crops you will be planting.

Happy Planting

John Barsody
Frigid Forage