By Greg Dean
BOISE, Idaho – Cooler and wetter weather caused difficult field conditions early last spring which slowed many grower’s efforts to get sugarbeet fields planted early in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. This resulted in later than average sugarbeet field planting dates when compared to the previous year. Reasonably good stands of sugarbeets were eventually established with minimal replanting.
The wetter soils in early spring and resulting soil compaction were later coupled with hot summer day and night time temperatures. The combination was a likely cause for increased mid to late season presence of sugarbeet root diseases in some fields. For the most part, growers’ efforts to control the diseases through treatment and management were successful. This last fall, growers were able to harvest and deliver their sugarbeets much cleaner and cooler than in past years. To date, sugarbeet storage and processing conditions have been near optimal. The factories continue to extract sugar from delivered sugarbeets with no beet quality issues.
The 2017 sugarbeet crop yielded well for growers, as the company averaged 39.2 tons per acre and 16.84 beet quality lab sugar content.