Amalgamated Sugar Company
Much of the Amalgamated crop was planted by the middle of April. For the third spring in a row, we had a difficult time getting a stand established because of cold weather, wind and mouse problems. Replants were higher than normal, which also caused lower-than-desired stands in some fields.
The spring and summer were cool, which inhibited growth. Autumn brought mild temperatures, which aided in the harvest.
The weed control was excellent. Leafminer problems persisted later than normal, and treatment was needed in some areas. The sugarbeet root maggot showed less pressure and peaked later because of cold weather. Generally, cyst nematode, curly top and rhizomania were well controlled with resistant varieties, pesticides and cultural practices.
Generally, the 2010 crop was received in excellent condition because of the proper soil moisture and temperature conditions. Harvest began on September 14 in the Twin Falls area, September 21 in the Mini-Cassia area and September 29 in the western part of the cooperative. Beet yields were below average, but the tare lab sugar was above average at 17.33%. — Stacey Camp
Crumbaughs Among Handful of Michigan Growers Employing Zone Till in Sugarbeets
Stale seedbeds — wherein fields are tilled in the fall and then left untouched the following spring until the planter rolls in — have really caught on in Michigan the past several years. Nearly one-fourth of the state’s sugarbeet fields were planted into a stale seedbed this past season, compared to probably less than 5% just three or four years ago.
Clay Crumbaugh is a longtime member of the stale-seedbed fraternity. He, wife Christine and father Rex, who farm in the Breckenridge-St. Louis vicinity, have been planting beets into a stale seedbed for the past 15 years. They began doing so on half their acreage and within three years had expanded the practice to 100% of their upcoming beet ground.
More recently, however, the Crumbaughs have diverted some of their sugarbeet acreage into zone (strip) till. And it all began with a 2007 corn field.
Turkey is the largest beet sugar producer in the Middle East and fifth largest beet sugar producer in the world, ranking only behind France, Germany, the United States and Russia. With a population approaching 75 million, Turkey also is a significant sugar consumer. The sugar sector is highly regulated and subsidized, but this will change in the coming years when Turkey accedes to the European Union and adopts the EU sugar policies.
Don Lilleboe is editor of 'The Sugarbeet Grower' and 'Gilmore Sugar Manual.'