“Like seed, like harvest,” is a sentence that is often heard in the cultivation of sugar beet. However, this guideline applies to all other crops, and especially in spring. An ideal emergence ensures that plants can use the sunny days faster to form leaf mass and store both water and nutrients. Sugar beet requires a solid seed furrow and a light coating of earth to ensure a sufficient water supply and promote rapid germination. Since maize is often cultivated on heavier soil, a relatively shallow drill depth of 4–5 cm is required to make it easier for the seedling to grow. However, it is recommended that the depth is regularly checked during drilling, as sowing the seed too shallow can lead to the grains drying out.
While summer cereals require somewhat less precision, particular care should be given to the seed quantities. At an ideal sowing time at the start of the vegetation cycle, approximately 300 grains should be sown per square metre. The later the sowing, the higher the seed rate should be.
If the most practical system of tramlines is observed during sowing, losses can be minimised, and the processes of plant protection and fertilisation made simpler. This is particularly important with sugar beet and maize since they find it harder to recover from being driven over too many times.
After sowing: fertilisation, plant protection and harvest
In order to promote the growth of crops after sowing, many different fertiliser and plant protection products can be used. Sugar beet has the highest requirements for a comprehensive nutrient supply. Any deficit here will have a much faster impact on yield than with other crops such as cereals. In addition to basic nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate and sulphur, micronutrients such as boron and manganese play an important role in ensuring a healthy plant with sufficient leaf mass and high sugar content. As a rule, three plant protection measures are carried out to protect sugar beet from pests, weeds and diseases. The follow-up treatments (FUT) should be carried out with caution, as the beet itself reacts very sensitively to plant protection products.
In the case of maize, a root fertiliser is applied in the same work step as the actual sowing. This means that a nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser is applied approx. 5 cm next to and 5 cm below the maize seeds. In this way, the plant has early access to a sufficient quantity of nutrients to allow optimum germination. Plant protection in maize is usually limited to herbicide applications. Since this crop does not cope well with competitive weeds, this should be carried out thoroughly.
Spring cereal crops, like winter crops, require first and foremost a sufficient supply of nitrogen. Plant protection applications can be used as needed and depend strongly on the weather.