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Diseases And Pests Of Beets
Diseases And Pests Of Beets

Beet pests

In the initial period of development, damage to the still immature seedlings by various pests is a great danger to beets. By the way, more than 250 types of pests are known on beets, but no more than 30 of them can cause a significant decrease in the yield of this crop. Malignant pests of beets: weevils and larvae of miner flies, beet fleas, which must be fought against.


Beet aphids can reproduce on many vegetable plants. The main hosts of aphids are viburnum, jasmine, bird cherry, on which its eggs winter. Reproduction of aphids is regulated by numerous predators and parasites: ladybirds, some beetles, predatory bugs, lacewing, larvae of some hoverflies. Some unfavorable weather conditions can also prevent aphids from breeding. For example, heavy rainfall will wash it off the plants, causing large numbers of aphids to die.

The beetroot aphid lives on all plants of the swan family. On the affected plants, the leaves turn yellow, the plant withers, and its development is suspended. Severely damaged plants are easily removed from the soil, often the roots rot. The most characteristic sign of beet root aphid damage is the presence of white moldy plaque on the roots and in the soil around the plant, which is formed from the skins discarded during the molting of the aphid and the secretions of its special glands.

Beet flea. Small beetles 1–2 mm long are black with a greenish or bronze tint. Beetles overwinter under plant debris in ditches, on roadsides, in bushes. They appear in spring and, being highly voracious, damage seedlings and young plants, which can cause the death of plants in large areas.

Common beet weevil. Weevils are up to 1.5 cm long, black in color, densely covered with whitish-gray scales. The beetle hibernates in the soil at a depth of 12–30 cm, mainly in those areas where beets were grown. At first, they feed on swans and other weeds, and then, when beet shoots appear, they move to it, bringing great harm to it. Damage to plants in the earliest period of their development is especially dangerous. Beetles eat cotyledon leaves, bite off stems, and sometimes damage sprouts that have not yet emerged on the soil surface. Seedlings are greatly thinned out, and sometimes crops are completely destroyed. The gluttony of beetles is especially great in the early and dry spring. The larvae (white, legless, curved, about 3 cm long) feed on beet roots. In this case, young plants with no more than 4–6 leaves die. More developed plants are stunted, wither,roots take on an ugly shape. In frosty winters, the weevil dies, a rainy and cool summer contributes to the appearance of diseases caused by fungi and bacteria in larvae and pupae. The fight against him must be carried out constantly.

Beet miner fly. The adult insect is an ash-gray fly 6–8 mm long. The pupated larvae overwinter in the soil in those places where the pest lived. The flies that emerged in spring lay eggs, from which larvae hatch in 2–5 days and, penetrating into the leaf tissue, they feed on it, making them inside the cavity. Bubble-like swellings are formed - mines, inside which there are larvae. Damaged leaves wither, turn yellow and gradually die off. Damage is especially dangerous for young plants in the forks or 1–2 pairs of true leaves. When populated by larvae, such plants usually die. In more developed plants, the weight of root crops decreases. During the summer, the insect gives up to three generations.

Beet nematode. This pest, which is a filamentous worm (the female has a lemon-shaped form), causes stunted growth in plants, wilting, yellowing of leaves and even death of plants. Infected roots branch strongly, take on a bearded appearance, the weight of the roots decreases. The crop shortfall can reach 60%. Nematoda gives in the conditions of the Moscow region up to 2 generations. In addition to beets, it lives on haze and cruciferous plants.

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Beet disease

Korneed. Disease of beet seedlings, caused by the development of pathogenic microorganisms, the presence of unfavorable conditions for the development of seedlings and low seed quality. The first signs of the disease are noted in seedlings on the hypocotal knee or root. A constriction forms on the stem of a young plant, the root darkens and rots. Cotyledons and true leaves stick and turn yellow, such seedlings often die. Some of the plants affected by the rootworm die before reaching the soil surface. This leads to plant thinning, sometimes so strong that reseeding is required. Plants that have had a root-eater, if they recover, develop more slowly, give a lower yield (up to 40%), during storage, such root crops rot first.

Cercosporosis. In the tissues of the leaves of the affected plants, the fungus develops mycelium, which thickens with age, becomes olive-brown, and clusters in the form of tufts form under the leaf skin, from which the infection spreads to other plants. In wet weather, a grayish bloom is visible in the spot area, formed by fungal spores. Numerous spots lead to the death of leaves, starting with the largest, extreme ones. Cercosporosis is one of the most harmful diseases of beets. The causative agent of the disease hibernates in infected plant debris. Seeds can also be sources of infection. In addition to beets, infections are susceptible to: alfalfa, peas, soybeans, potatoes, and from weeds - quinoa, mallow, sow thistle, bindweed, sorrel, dandelion.

Peronosporosis (downy mildew). Affected leaves stand out with a lighter color, their growth slows down, the plates thicken, curl upside down, and become fragile. A rather dense grayish-purple bloom appears on the underside, consisting of sporulation of the fungus. The same plaque occurs on the glomeruli of seeds. The dying off of leaves dramatically reduces the size and quality of the crop. Root crops are poorly stored.

Fomoz. On the roots of beets, with a lack of boron in the soil, phomosis manifests itself in the form of dry rot. The fungus attacks the weakened parts of the root, mainly the lateral bulges of the neck, causing dark spots. The root tissue rots, becomes dry, rotten. The most dangerous type of disease is root-eating and, as a consequence, lump rot. On adult beets, phomosis is commonly known as zonal spotting. The fungus, affecting weakened, most often old, leaves, causes the appearance of large light brown spots with pronounced zoning and dark dots, which are an additional source of infection. During storage, roots with signs of dry rot decompose quickly, forming foci of infection. The mushroom hibernates on plant debris, in root crops during storage, the disease is transmitted with seeds, after sowing which, a root eater develops on the seedlings.

Rope rot. Beet rot during storage can be caused by up to 150 types of mushrooms. In most cases, root crops affected by kagat rot are gray, brown, almost black. The strength of the tissues is lost. The rot can be dry, and if bacteria are actively involved in the decay process, the affected roots become licky, and the rot takes on a wet character. The roots of plants that have been ill with cercosporosis, peronosporosis and other diseases are poorly resistant to clump rot. Higher doses of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers increase disease resistance. Roots that have grafted and injured during harvesting are more strongly affected by clump rot.

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Control measures:

  • sowing beets away from plants - intermediate hosts of pests and diseases;
  • mowing all weeds on the sides of roads, ditches, in untreated areas;
  • observance of the rules of crop rotation: sowing wheat, rye, barley, vetch, clover, chicory on the areas affected by the nematode; deep early tillage in autumn;
  • liming the soil;
  • the introduction of a sufficient amount of organic and mineral fertilizers, double and triple doses of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers for sugar beet crops;
  • cultivation of disease resistant varieties;
  • carrying out all agricultural activities that contribute to the rapid growth and development of seedlings (preservation of moisture in the soil, sowing with seeds of high sowing conditions, calibration and sowing of large seeds, optimal sowing dates on well-cultivated soil, top dressing with the addition of boric fertilizers, etc.);
  • careful processing of row spacings;
  • weed control, especially from the swan family;
  • removal of beet leaves affected by a miner fly during weeding with the removal of weeds from the site;
  • protection of root crops during harvesting from wilting;
  • protection of beet roots from mechanical damage;
  • protection of roots from freezing;
  • careful partitioning of root crops before storing;
  • compliance with the storage regime;
  • cleaning from the site and burning plant residues.

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