Fungal Growth on Sugarbeet Leaves Would Lower U.S. Sugar Production

Fungicide Treatment (Left: Treated - Right: Untreated)

Fungicide Treatment (Left: Treated – Right: Untreated)

The Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota is a major sugarbeet production area. About ½ of U.S. sugar comes from sugarbeets. A disease on the leaves damages the plant’s ability to produce extractable sucrose in the roots. Fungicides kill the fungus before the damage is done to the plants.

“Cercospora leaf spot is the most economically damaging foliar disease of sugarbeet in Minnesota and North Dakota. The disease reduces root yield and sucrose concentration, and increases impurity concentrations resulting in reduced extractable sucrose and higher processing losses.”

“It is difficult to combine high levels of Cercospora leaf spot resistance with high recoverable sucrose in sugarbeet. Consequently, commercial varieties generally have only moderate levels of resistance and require fungicide applications to obtain acceptable levels of protection against Cercospora leaf spot under moderate and high disease severity.”

Authors: M.F.R. Khan1 and A.L. Carlson2
1North Dakota State University & University of Minnesota; 2Plant Pathology Department, North Dakota State University
Title: Efficacy of fungicides for controlling Cercospora leaf spot on sugarbeet.
Publication: Sugarbeet Research & Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota. 2011 Research report available at:

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