USDA Geneticist Stresses Importance of Developing Crops Resistant to Certain Herbicides -- “ ‘If scientists could develop crops that are resistant to certain herbicides, more complete weed control, increased yields, and reduced consumer prices for food would result,’ says USDA plant geneticist Garry A. Smith. . . .
Farm Bill Passes — “The House passed the Farm Bill on December 16 and President Reagan signed the bill into law on December 22.
“The bill sets up a four-year support program with support loan rates of 17 cents a pound on raw sugar for the 1982 crop, 17.50 cents a pound for 1983, 17.75 cents a pound for 1984, and 18 cents a pound for 1985. Program terms are designed to result in operation of the system without any cost to the Treasury.
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Vertical Tiller Saves Fuel and Chemicals -- “Over one-fifth of the energy used in North Dakota agriculture is consumed for tillage operations. Recently, new reduced tillage equipment has been introduced for sugarbeet and other row crop production that cold reduce fuel consumption for tillage by approximately 50 percent, according to Jerry Fitts, extension sugarbeet specialist at North Dakota State University.
Coke Bottlers Suing Parent Company -- “The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Elizabethtown, Ky., said that it and 95 other Coke bottlers were suing the parent Coca-Cola Company over its use of a cheaper sugar substitute in its syrup and for alleged overpricing.
“A Coca-Cola Company spokesman said the company was aware of the suits, viewed them as without merit and would oppose them vigorously.
Consumer Support for Comprehensive Sugar Policy Urged By Growers -- “At the annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association held in Tucson, February 2-6, Executive Vice President Richard Blake urged adoption of a policy that would provide U.S. consumers with a dependable supply of sugar at fair and stable prices. . . . According to Blake, since 1974 the U.S. has continued to move toward greater reliance on sugar exporting countries whose collective ability to supply domestic needs is neither constant nor predictable.
NDSU-UM Beet Program a Million Dollar Connection
— “Take dedicated researchers and extension workers, adding willing cooperators, blend in sugar factory interest, stir well with liberal amounts of funding to conduct needed research, and you have a prize-winning recipe. From modest beginnings — 1961 grower contributions to research were $4,000 — support for sugarbeet research has continued to increase in line with an increasing technology. Beet grower funding broke the $100,000 mark in 1975. The 1980 budget was $200,000, making total contributions about $1.2 million.
“Much of the credit for the outstanding sugarbeet programs in extension and research in the Red River Valley and Renville, Minnesota, areas goes to the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Migrant Workers Estimated at 6,000 — “This year an estimated 6,000 migrant workers will be needed by American Crystal Sugar Company plants for sugarbeet thinning and hoeing operations.
“According to Richard Fitzsimons, executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, the number of migrant workers has dropped in recent years. In 1977 an estimated 9,153 migrants came to the valley for employment. In 1978 the number dropped to 7,015, and fell again in 1979 to 6,750.
Heussner Elected President of ASGA — “John Heussner, Marlette, Michigan, was elected President of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association at their annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. . . .
“Heussner has grown sugarbeets for 40 years on his 1,100-acre farm near Marlette. He has been president of his local grower board for the last 18 years, and is presently serving as president for the 3,000 sugarbeet growers in Michigan and Ohio. He has been a strong voice for the industry in Michigan for many years. His experience, knowledge and dedication will help to maintain a viable domestic industry.”
Pepsico, Inc., to Use HFCS — “Pepsico, Inc., the nation’s second largest soft drink company, said on March 4 it will use 55 percent high fructose corn syrup to replace up to 50 percent of the sugar used in its Pepsi Cola syrup.
Storage Rot Costs Beet Industry Millions During Each Campaign — “A sugar factory could have recovered 2.8 million more pounds of sucrose from 280,000 tons of sugarbeets had they been protected against storage rots with the fungicide thiabendazole or been genetically resistant to the rots.
“Those estimates by [USDA] plant pathologist William M. Bugbee, Fargo, N.D., are based on results comparing genetically resistant breeding lines and susceptible commercial hybrids, with and without fungicide dipping, under field conditions. “The estimates are possible because untreated, susceptible hybrids in one test developed about the same amount of rot as was found in rot-susceptible roots held more than 100 days at a sugar processing factory. Thiabendazole treatment reduced storage rot to a trace amount in susceptible hybrids after 100 days of storage. Rot in the genetically resistant lines was nearly as low.