Were there an “Association of No-Till Sugarbeet Producers,” the group probably could hold its annual meeting inside a single beet cart. Reduced-tillage beet growers? Of course, there’s a lot of that these days. Strip-till beets? Certainly. But bona fide no-till? That’s still a rarity, to be sure.
When Kelly Sharpe discusses sugarbeet harvester adjustments and operation, he does so from several different perspectives: (1) as the son of a longtime sugarbeet grower who also set up farm equipment for central Red River Valley implement dealers for many years; (2) as a former quality control specialist for a sugarbeet harvester manufacturer; (3) as a beet processor agriculturalist and harvest loss team leader; and (4) as a harvest educator who has presented seminars and clinics in several U.S. sugarbeet regions.*
A Profile of the Fargo, N.D.-Based USDA-ARS Sugarbeet Research Team
Unlike sugarbeet growers, who harvest the fruits of their labors every year, those who conduct basic research on this crop may not witness the commercial payoff from their work for a decade, two decades — or even longer. While we all need a certain amount of patience and persistence in our jobs, no one relies on such traits more than public scientists like Larry Campbell, Karen Fugate and Melvin Bolton.
The following discussion of the timing and methods of sugarbeet harvesting appeared in an 1898 U.S. Department of Agriculture publication titled “Special Report on the Beet Sugar Industry in the United States.” The section from which these excerpts were taken was written by field agent Charles Saylor, who during 1897 visited every state and locality mentioned in his report, inspecting farms and factories and interviewing growers and sugar manufacturers.
As of 1897, sugarbeet factories were in operation in the following locations: Alvarado, Watsonville, Los Alamitos and Chino, Calif.; Lehi, Utah; Eddy, N. Mex.; Norfolk and Grand Island, Neb.; and Rome, N.Y. Factories being readied in time for the 1898 sugarbeet crop included Salina, Crockett, Santa Maria (Betteravia) and Hueneme (Oxnard), Calif.; LaGrande, Ore.; Ogden, Utah; Bay City, Mich.; and Binghamton, N.Y. The report also indicated that a factory was being built at Dunkirk, N.Y., for the 1899 crop.
By Don Lilleboe
Being a sugar company agriculturist entails wearing a lot of hats. One of the most important is that of crop advisor, fielding growers’ questions and providing management recommendations on everything from choosing seed varieties to harvest timing and procedures.
Managing Cercospora Resistance: An Outline of the Issue — And Recommendations — in Michigan Sugarbeets
By Greg Clark
Cercospora leafspot is among the most serious diseases of sugarbeets in Michigan, capable of inflicting significant tonnage and sucrose losses as well as increased impurities. Yield losses of two tons per acre and one-fourth point of sugar are common in our growing region, with some fields having lost upwards of several tons and a couple points of sugar.
Barney, N.D., grower Russ Mauch completed his two-year term as president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association during the group’s February annual meeting. Prior to turning over the president’s gavel to Kelly Erickson, Mauch summarized the challenges and accomplishments of the past two years. Provided here are excerpts from his talk.
Hallock, Minn., grower Kelly Erickson took the reins as president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association during ASGA’s annual meeting in early February. In his first address to the group as president, he introduced himself, discussed the challenges ahead, and offered a road map on how ASGA can successfully meet those challenges. Here are his remarks.
Satisfactory Crop Residue Management Is a Key for the Carlquists of Southern Idaho
By Don Lilleboe
Doug and Melanie Carlquist were among a sizable contingent of Idaho sugarbeet producers who attended a strip-till seminar and field demonstration hosted by Amalgamated Sugar Company back in the summer of 2008. And, like a number of those attending, they were impressed enough with the perceived benefits of the production system that they purchased a new strip-till unit for deployment in their upcoming row crop fields.
By Mark Bredehoeft*
Application of an in-furrow 10-34-0 starter fertilizer at planting is generally considered to be a paying proposition in the Red River Valley and southern Minnesota sugarbeet areas. Often-cited benefits include increased early season vigor, improved crop stress tolerance, a typical boost in final recoverable sugar per acre, and optimal use of applied phosphorus inputs.