The sun hid out for part of the week, but for sugarbeet growers visiting from places like Michigan and the Red River Valley, early February in San Diego still provided a warm respite.
About 360 beet growers, spouses and affiliated industry traveled to southern California for the 2013 annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. Along with a lot of one-on-one conversation, they also listened to speakers addressing several timely topics of importance to the nation’s sugar industry.
ASGA’s 2014 annual meeting is scheduled to take place February 9-11 in Tampa, Fla.
Seed Company Leaders Provide Insights on What's in the Pipeline
To date, the buzz about biotechnology within the sugarbeet sector has focused largely on Roundup Ready® sugarbeets. First grown commercially in 2007 in north central Wyoming, Roundup Ready beet acreage skyrocketed the following year. For the past four years, Roundup Ready varieties have been planted on around 95% of total U.S. (and Canadian) sugarbeet acreage as growers have embraced the benefits for their individual farming operations.
Luther Markwart focused on “take home” messages in his summary remarks toward the conclusion of this year’s American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting. “What do we tell our growers? What do we do as leaders of this industry?” ASGA’s longtime executive vice president asked the local and regional grower association leaders in attendance.
Units Improve Ease & Accuracy of Calibration
Back in 2004, University of Nebraska-Scottsbluff agricultural engineer John Smith and his colleagues added an extra dimension to the UN electronic planter test stand program. The new feature consisted of an “electronic photogate” and corresponding software that provided growers with graphic printouts of their planter units’ seed drop accuracy on a side-to-side basis as well as the standard front-to-back distance spacing.
By Larry Campbell & Allan Cattanach
Editor’s Note: The American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (ASSBT) held its 37th biennial meeting in Anaheim, Calif., from February 27 to March 2. During that meeting, ASSBT paused to celebrate its 75th anniversary as an organization.
To help recognize this milestone, two longtime ASSBT members — Larry Campbell and Allan Cattanach — compiled a history of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists. Campbell is sugarbeet research geneticist with USDA-ARS at Fargo, N.D. Cattanach, who is American Crystal Sugar Company’s general agronomist, wrapped up a two-year term as ASSBT president at the Anaheim meeting.
A modestly edited version of that history is provided here.