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Fodder Beet

Optimising beet yield for next-level feed quality

Boost beet bulbs and leaves with Custodia® foliage protection
Fodder Beet

Beet foliar fungicide Custodia® from ADAMA is helping dairy platforms maximise the value of the exacting but high pay-off fodder crop.

The fungicide supports greener, healthier, more vigorous leaves by protecting against Cercospora leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew.

Otago and Southland ADAMA Commercial Manager Damian MacKenzie, says protecting the beef leaves is proving its worth. “It optimises plant health. That’s reflected in the yield – the bulb as well as the leaf. Keeping the canopy working and photosynthesising is the key to promoting that extra bulb size and quality.”

Damian says farmers who find beet a good fit in their feed management plan are those looking for that “little bit extra”.  “Beet is still king when it comes to putting weight on cows in winter-time. There’s nothing else like it, when it’s done right.”

Not that it’s easy, he adds. Those growing beet well, know how to manage transitioning on and off the crop carefully, and balancing beet with other feed, such as silage, in the cows’ diets.

Damian says beet crops being grazed late autumn will benefit from an early application of Custodia, with a second application in March for grazing in May. “The thing is retaining those leaves as long as you can.”

This provides extra flexibility and a feed opportunity, which Damian says North Otago growers especially, have seized with both hands. “What really makes Custodia stand out (along with its performance when you compare it to other crop protection products products), is that it reduces the stock grazing withholding period by 14 days to just 28 days. That’s compared with the previous industry standard of 42 days.”

“It means there’s better cover over the autumn shoulder and early winter. When you’ve got stock to feed, at that time, 14 days can make a huge difference.”

The key window to boost beet growth is January, February, and March. This is also when disease will begin to appear in the crop; careful crop monitoring is essential when conditions are favourable for the pathogens. Custodia should be applied at the first signs of any disease. It can be reapplied after 14 days if needed. 

ADAMA’s “whole crop” approach to beet protection also includes game changing Mavrik® Aquaflo Insecticide (Mavrik). Mavrik offers strong control of major beet pests Nysius and cutworm while having minimal impact on beneficial insects foraging in beets or nearby crops.

ADAMA’s complementary beet herbicides are based around the use of a robust pre-emergence spray with a follow up to control any subsequent weeds. Spearheading the programme is Goltix® Gold with its proven efficacy against particularly hard-to-control beet weeds including fathen and wireweed. Other compatible herbicide products in the beet programme include ToreroTM, Ethosat®, and Rifle®.

For more information on spray timings and how to increase returns on beet with ADAMA products, visit or contact your local ADAMA Commercial Manager.