Sugar beets are a major source of the world's sugar, and the higher the sugar yield and concentration per plant, the better. In a replicated trial, researchers evaluated the ability of Maritime to improve sugar concentration in beets when applied to the crop a few weeks before harvest. A kelp-based product, Maritime is designed to provide plant health benefits such as improved nutrient uptake and greater ability to tolerate abiotic stress.
Conducted during the 2021 growing season in Brown City, Michigan, the on-farm trial was overseen by Sugarbeet Advancement, a partnership between Michigan State University, Michigan Sugar Company, sugar beet producers, and agribusiness.
Maritime was applied twice at two different rates toward the end of the growing season. Both were foliar applications made with a leaf spot fungicide. The first application was made in late July at a rate of 2 quarts/acre, with the second application made in late August at 1 quart/acre.
At harvest, there was a significant increase in both recoverable white sugar per ton (RWST, 7 reps) and percent sugar (5 reps) in sugar beets that received the Maritime application compared to beets that were not treated with Maritime (p <0.05 for both measurements).