An Exclusive to The Sugarbeet Grower
By Peter Buzzanell*
Above: A Russian sugarbeet field is harvested with American-origin equipment — a Case IH tractor and an Amity Technology beet harvester. PHOTO: Casey Bryl / Amity Technology
Russian beet sugar production has been trending upward in recent years, but it still only accounts for about one-half of the country’s annual demand. To fill this deficit, Russia must import massive volumes of raw cane sugar — most of which is then refined in dual beet and raw cane processing facilities.
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