Lou Towater President New American Growers / By Janice Grauberger — “When Lou Towater talks about the sugarbeet industry, there is a determined set to his jaw and an undeniable twinkle in his eye.
“The longtime resident of Scottsbluff, Neb., who is president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association and SUGRO, has found a special niche in the industry.
“His fellow producers and association board members can testify to Towater’s long-lived dedication to securing a healthy, viable sugarbeet industry which will live long into the future. That dedication is mirrored in his 30-plus years of work on behalf of beet growers and processors.
“The proudest, most exciting moment in his life was walking up to accept the presidency of the American association, he says. It was a long climb for the Panhandle beet grower — a seed that started with a need to back the industry that had been good to his family and ended in a strong tree acting as a mainstay in the industry.
“He and his wife Audrey started farming in 1946 after Towater was released from a stint in the military. ‘That’s what I wanted to do,’ Towater remembers with a grin and a shrug. . . . Beets were a part of Towater’s operation from the beginning, and the crop so often dubbed the ‘mortgage lifter’ continued to be so successful; it became a mainstay for many communities, Towater says.”
November Harvest Start-up Produces Maximum Tonnage — “Texas growers starting sugarbeet harvest about November 1 will produce maximum tonnage and sugar. Growers that harvest earlier will reduce yield and returns. Delaying harvest after November 1 is not likely to increase yield much, but greatly increases the possibility of bad weather and harvest problems.
“Dr. Steve Winter, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station sugarbeet researcher from the Texas A&M Center at Amarillo, came to this conclusion after four years of research. Each year Mono-Hy D2 sugarbeets were planted in March in Pullman clay loam soil at the USDA Conservation and Production Research Laboratory at Bushland. The sugarbeets were managed for high yields.
“Each year the researcher harvested the sugarbeets at two-week intervals from September 1 to November 9. . . . On the average, by September 1, beet yield was 24 tons per acre. By November 9, tonnage increased to 31 tons per acre. During the same time, sugar percentage increased from 13.5 to 16.0.”
Michigan Growers Form Association -- “One thousand sugarbeet growers in Michigan’s Saginaw Valley and Thumb Region have established a new growers’ organization. The Great Lakes Sugar Beet Growers Association (GLSBGA) consists of growers producing sugarbeets for Michigan Sugar Company.
“The purpose of GLSBGA is to: (1) promote the state’s sugar industry; (2) educate Michigan consumers and taxpayers about the importance of the industry; (3) support and review research projects; (4) work with legislators in Michigan and Washington, D.C., in order to maintain a strong domestic industry; (5) improve members’ knowledge of recent improvements and advancement of the sugarbeet industry.
“The new officers are as follows: President, Stanley G. Gettel of the Sebewaing Beet Growers Assoc., Inc.; Vice President, Roy J. Hickey of the Caro Sugar Beet Growers, Inc., and Secretary-Treasurer, Garnet Hoard of the Alma Beet Growers Assn., Inc. . . . The Great Lakes Sugar Beet Growers Association was established as a reorganizational move after the Farmers and Manufacturers Beet Sugar Association was dissolved.”
Domestic Industry Promotes New Educational Program of ‘The Facts’ — “The domestic sugar industry, under attack by what spokesmen called ‘greedy special-interest groups deliberating distorting the facts,’ has announced a new program to disseminate information about United States sugar production.
“Five industry groups have organized the Sugar Information Bureau, based in Washington and staffed by professional information specialists, to meet what was termed ‘an obvious and growing need for the factual story of domestic sugar.’ The groups are the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, representing farmers in 16 states; the Florida Sugar Cane League, Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, the Rio Grande Valley Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative and the United States Beet Sugar Association, a group of processing companies. . . . Together the groups represent virtually all of the domestic sugar industry, which has long been viewed by government as essential to United States consumer and commercial interests.”
Researchers Study [Role] of Herbicides in Control of Weeds -- “Herbicides usually effective in controlling weeds can sometimes cause more harm than good to the crop. To prevent this problem, researchers are trying to develop herbicide-resistant crops. ‘Such crops would lead to more complete weed control, increased yields, and lower consumer prices for food,’ says Garry A. Smith, USDA-ARS plant geneticist at Fort Collins, Colo. . . .
“In a two-year study, the plant geneticist found 15 lines of sugarbeets which offered varying degrees of susceptibility to herbicides.”