Stoller USA announces University of Idaho's sugarbeet research results

StollerUSA has announced that research conducted by the University of Idaho confirms that the application of Ripener to sugarbeets six to seven weeks prior to harvest increases the sugar production at statistically significant levels.

The study, led by Dr. Bryan Hopkins, Extension/research assistant professor at the University of Idaho, focused on the correlation between sugar production and substantial vegetative growth during the final weeks of a sugarbeet plant's life cycle. The conclusion is that a lush and green sugarbeet field in the fall often robs the profits from a grower's pocket. As opposed to a full canopy of leaves during the weeks prior to harvest, a grower's goal should be to hasten sugar accumulation in the root by aiding the plant's internal hormonal signals that change it from primarily vegetative growth to reproductive mode and the associated underground storage of transformed carbohydrates.

According to Dr. Hopkins, excess fertilizer is one of the most notorious culprits of reduced sugar yield caused by plants that are too succulent during the time that they should be amassing sugar in the roots. “Fertilizer additions to sugarbeets often raises total yield, but can reduce the sugar percentage and increase the salt concentrations; thus nullifying the benefit — the fact that Ripener gave us a yield increase without either negative impact is significant,” said Dr. Hopkins.

The study conducted at the University of Idaho revealed that the foliar application of two quarts per acre of Ripener approximately six to seven weeks prior to harvest, combined with judicious use of pre-plant fertilizer, resulted in an increased sugar yield of 368 to 877 pounds per acre, compared to that of the untreated check. According to Albert Liptay, director of research and development for StollerUSA, the company objectives are to increase yields by understanding gene expression as the crop develops from seed germination to harvest. The company's products are based on numerous field trials, but initially directed by gene expression studies with the model crop and the latest techniques in molecular biology.

While Dr. Hopkins understands the harm in excessive fertilizer, he warns growers to not abandon their base fertilizer program, even though many new products promise results in the absence of sound fertility practices. “The results of this study emphasize the point that randomized, replicated research done by a third party ought to be performed on any new products entering the marketplace.”

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