Credit: American Crystal Sugar
Three Years of Trials in the Red River Valley
This image from a 2008 Moorhead sugarbeet field shows variable-rate seeding plot yield data (horizontal strip) overlaid on productivity zones that were developed based on satellite imagery and previous crop yield data.
Variable-rate fertilizer application has become commonplace among sugarbeet growers, with the result generally being more-efficient use of fertilizer inputs, more-consistent beet yield and quality across fields — and better per-acre revenue.
Photo: Don Lilleboe
When the Bierlein brothers — Warren and Brian — decided to trade for a wider row-crop planter, they simultaneously decided to switch from their traditional 28-inch sugarbeet rows over to 22s. So this past spring, instead of planting their beets and other row crops with an 18-row unit, they did so with a 58-foot-wide Bauer-built John Deere DB58 that allowed them to seed 32 (22-inch) rows at a crack.
A 'medium compaction' study plot area shows the difference in sugarbeet plant growth with zero tillage (left) and with zone tillage shanks set at a 10-inch depth (right).
Zone (strip) tillage in sugarbeets has become notably more popular in recent years across the beet-producing areas of Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. The system conserves soil, soil water and input energy compared to “broadcast” tillage systems that employ a moldboard plow, disk and/or chisel plow. Zone-till implements also can be used to apply fertilizer or Telone II at one or more depths below where the seed will eventually be placed. With some systems, the beet planter can be positioned on the rear of the zone-till tool for a true one-pass tillage-planting operation.
By Peter Buzzanell*
About 10% of Nation’s Sugar Production Comes from Domestically Grown Beets; Remainder from Imported Raw Cane Sugar Refined in Canada
Canada’s beet sugar production has evolved from several plants to one located in Alberta. The bulk of Canadian sugar supplies come from imported raw cane sugar processed at three refineries, located in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, respectively. The resulting refined sugar is marketed to individual buyers in the retail market and mainly to large customers in the country’s beverage and food industry.
Corn sweeteners are produced in eastern Canada and compete in sweetener markets with sugar. Canada is also a major producer of maple syrup and honey, with exports going mainly to the U.S. market. Canada has recently initiated an
ethanol program to mix ethanol with gasoline, using corn and wheat as the major feedstocks.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower