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.
Photo: British Sugar Beet Review. Above: The Cantley factory is one of four owned and operated by British Sugar plc.
Reflecting the impact of recent sugar policy reforms, the EU-27 has shifted to become one of the world’s leading sugar net-importers. The reforms are also affecting countries that benefit from preferential access to the EU market. Despite trade reforms, lower internal prices and a restructuring of the sugarbeet industry, the EU remains the world’s largest beet sugar producer
ASGA Executive Vice President Luther Markwart
Outlines Association Priorities for Coming Year
In what areas will the American Sugarbeet Growers Association be focusing its efforts during the coming year? Luther Markwart, ASGA’s longtime executive vice president, updated members on several of the association’s top 2010 priorities during the group’s annual meeting in early February.
• Crop Insurance — ASGA has worked for several years toward the removal of stages for sugarbeet crop insurance. That effort, which began with a pilot project in Minnesota, has now culminated in stage removal in all U.S. sugarbeet states except California (whose growers typically do not take out crop insurance on beets).
Why the Beet Sugar Processing
Sector Is So Concerned
This chart compares the levels of annual greenhouse gas emissions (as of 2007) that come from various industries, including sugarbeet processing. The beet sugar sector — at 4.3 million metric tons of CO2 — is very minor compared to the other noted industries, both “covered” and “not covered.”
ASA Economist Provides Analysis of Past Year for
Don Lilleboe is editor of 'The Sugarbeet Grower' and 'Gilmore Sugar Manual.'