The conference was well attended this year. Held a month earlier and in a different location it appeared to be the right thing to do. Conference organizers commented that there were well over 300 attendees. Also, the format this year offered a simple schedule.
Beginning with pesticide label updates from Bio West, Dow AgroScience, Dupont, Gowen Chemical Co., Monsanto, Simplot, Syngenta Crop Protection and Valent Corp.
Next a very detailed and expert presentation on root rots on beets by Oliver Neher, University of Idaho plant pathologist. He discussed identifying the disease as well as control measures and preventative action.
Carl Strausbaugh, USDA ARS research plant pathologist, discussed influences of tillage systems on beet root rots.
Amber Moore, U of I soils specialist, and David Tarkalson, USDA ARS soil scientist, presented their third year study on nitrogen application methods in strip-tilled beets. Also, they discussed screening for drought tolerance in beet breeding lines, irrigation rates, and timing effects on beet production their first year of that study.
Don Morishita, U of I weed scientist, shared his research on tank mix with glyphosate and weed management in beets from the beginning to the end. He will provide a detailed research article in the next issue of Sugar Producer. Look for it in the March 2012 issue.
Then attendees heard from Erik Wenninger, U of I entomologist, and Saad Hafez, nematologist, on insect pest management, nematode-control without Temik.
We will have more details on their research in an upcoming issue as well.
Irrigation is the topic Howard Binford, Amalgamated Co. crop consultant, and Howard Neibling, U of I water management engineer, discussed which included water management on conventional and strip-till beets.
A panel session on pest resistance management was in full force with Don Morishita, Oliver Neher and Erik Wenninger answering questions and inquiries from attendees.
It is expected that the conference will continue to be held in the first part of December. We will keep you informed of the date in our calendar.
Nestled on a table in the foyer was a smelly bunch of diseased-looking beets. Thanks were given to Kerry Bowen for the nifty contest. Attendees tried to identify what was what behind plates number 1 through 5.
Bowen reported that no. 1 was rhizoctonia, no. 2 leuconostoc bacteria, no. 3 rhizomania, no. 4 crown gall and no. 5 aphanomyces. The tie breaker was identified as mouse damage.
The winners were: 1, Kyle Bowers, $75; 2, Leland Tiers, $50; 3, Brian Darrington, $25. The contest was the idea of Bowen but when he was set to put up the money, Dennis Searle, senior agriculturalist from Amalgamated, said he would. So it was paid by Snake River Sugar Research & Seed Committee then reimbursed by the company.