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.
Results from Year One of Idaho Strip-Tillage Study
By Amber Moore, Don Morishita & Oliver Neher*
The introduction of strip tillage to sugarbeet production in southern Idaho has brought challenges as well as opportunities to local beet growers. One challenge is accounting for chaff (residue) trails left behind by combines. These trails create uneven distribution of residue throughout the field, which can be a challenge for ensuing crop production with strip tillage.
Specifically, growers are concerned that the areas with little residue will be droughty and more susceptible to weed growth, while areas with heavy residue coverage may have more fertilizer and herbicide binding in the residue — and more soil-borne disease pressure under a cooler, more-moist and higher-carbon soil environment.
Mari Brothers of N.E. Colorado Enthused With Strip-Till System, But Always Seeking Improvement
Mari Brothers Photo by Don Lilleboe
Left: Bob Mari (at left) and his brother Rod have grown sugarbeets for Western Sugar Cooperative since 2000, prior to its becoming a co-op. Their father, Clarence (right), a second-generation grower for the old Great Western Sugar Company, stopped raising beets in 1972, so there was a nearly 30-year gap for the crop on the Mari farm near Merino, Colo.
Bob Mari will never be a poster boy for the “This Is the Way We’ve Always Done It” club. First, he’s a sugarbeet grower. Second, he’s a young beet grower. And third, he and brother Rod are relatively new beet growers, so they’re not bound by long-term habits or tradition. They are, instead, motivated simply by the desire and need to make their operation as efficient — and profitable — as possible. And employing a strip-till production system is a primary vehicle for the Mari brothers. The northeastern Colorado growers have planted their center-pivot sugarbeet acres under strip till since the 2005 crop year.
ASA Economist Provides Analysis of Past Year for
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower