Strong Start, Strong Finish / Michigan's Hagen Brothers Bank on Stale Seedbeds & Huge Beet Carts / By Don Lilleboe
In a successful sugarbeet operation, every phase of the production season is important — but none more so than a strong start and a strong finish. Brothers Clint and Brad Hagen know that as well as anyone else. For the past decade-plus, the Hagens, who operate Atwater Farms near Ubly, Mich., have bolstered their season’s “start” by implementing a stale seedbed system. More recently, they’ve bulked up the season’s “finish” by building huge beet carts used not only on their own farm, but also at nearby Michigan Sugar Company piling sites.
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Season-Long Deficit Irrigation of Sugarbeets / Results of Three-Year Nebraska Study / By C. Dean Yonts*
Within the Western Sugar Cooperative growing region**, surface water supplies for irrigation are limited whenever drought occurs. As a result, delivery of surface water may (1) be delayed at the beginning of the season, (2) restricted during the season, and/or (3) shut off before the irrigation season is over. Since adequate water may not be available to meet the crop’s total needs, surface water users thus have a difficult decision to make in selecting which crop(s) to irrigate.
The 49th International Sugarbeet Institute, held March 16 and 17 at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D., attracted an estimated crowd of more than 3,200 during its two-day run. That was up by about 500 from the 2010 attendance.
A total of 126 companies exhibited at the 2011 ISBI. Eighty-five were booth exhibitors and 41 were floor exhibitors. As always, a broad spectrum of sugarbeet-related products and services were on display — everything from seed and chemical to tractors and harvesters, from site-specific system providers to field drainage companies.
Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, was this year’s featured speaker. He drew large crowds both days for his presentation, which covered the current status of Roundup Ready sugarbeet litigation, crop insurance developments, trade policy and the next farm bill.
The 22-person committee that plans and hosts the annual ISBI is comprised of individuals from several segments of the Minnesota/North Dakota beet industry. There are grower and staff personnel from each of the region’s three sugar co-ops, university sugarbeet specialists, grower association staff, and representatives from the booth and floor exhibitor communities. Mohamed Khan, sugarbeet specialist with North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota, is committee chairman. Crookston, Minn., grower Bob Cournia is exhibits coordinator
The 50th International Sugarbeet Institute will be held on March 14 and 15, 2012, at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D.
Rhizoctonia root rot is a serious disease problem in several sugarbeet-growing regions, with the result sometimes being dramatic — and expensive — reductions in tonnage and quality. Low levels of infection can easily cause yield losses in excess of a ton per acre, while high infection levels can cut yields by more than 10 tons per acre. The quality of surviving beets can also be impacted, sometimes resulting in significant losses in recoverable sugar.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower