Jerry Darnell, Vice President of Agriculture for Western Sugar Cooperative, recaps their 2017 growing season.
By Jerry Darnell
DENVER, Colo. – The 2017 growing season started off ahead of normal in all Western Sugar regions except for the Lovell, Wyoming area which had above normal precipitation during planting. The growing region had a full supply of irrigation water. The cooperative had minimal replant and abandoned acres in all areas. Sugarbeet diseases and pests were very minimal this year across the cooperative.
Above normal temperatures in October caused the sugarbeet harvest to be delayed for an extended period of time. There were several days that no harvest was allowed because of the warm soil temperatures that would not allow for a long term storable sugarbeet in the pile. Ambient and soil temperatures finally cooled and full harvest was allowed to resume at the end of October. Early harvest started on August 28th in Billings, Montana and harvest was completed on November 22nd in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Yields in the Montana region averaged 36.6 tons per acre, with a 17.41% sugar. Lovell, Wyoming averaged 27.9 tons per acre with a 17.20% sugar. Nebraska averaged 31.2 tons with a 17.45% sugar and Colorado 35.4 tons with a 17.15% sugar. Sugarbeet processing is scheduled to be completed in late February/early March.