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.
Reports From All North American Sugar Beet Growing Regions
The Amalgamated Sugar Company
The 2016 crop year began with a near perfect early spring. Virtually all growers established uniform, healthy sugarbeet plant populations in their fields with minimal replanted acres. The momentum for ideal sugarbeet growing conditions continued into the summer with moderate daytime temperatures. These temperatures helped to reduce stress on the sugarbeet crop which can sometimes hamper optimal growth and sugar production. All the normal diseases were present, but lacked environmental conditions conducive for optimal disease development.
Reports from All North American Beet Regions
Amalgamated Sugar Company
Early harvest results of the 2013 crop pointed to a large crop. These results were somewhat surprising due to the difficult 2013 springtime weather. There were 82,512 acres replanted — 44% of the planted acres. A 3% voluntary overplant was allowed in 2013, but not all of the allowed overplant was planted. There were 186,321 acres contracted with 186,176 acres planted. There were 712 acres lost due to environmental conditions and lack of water in some areas where storage water was short.
Temperatures during the growing season were conducive for good yields. With that comes higher mineralization in the soil, resulting in lower sugar contents. Early harvest sugar content was 14.21% in Mini-Cassia and 15.00% in the Twin Falls district, both of which were below average for early harvest.
The 2013 Amalgamated crop set another yield record of 36.3 tons per acre. However, the sugar content was a disappointing 15.87 %. Harvest was ideal, and the beets were put into the piles in good condition. — John Schorr
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Keen Interest in Technology, Strong Business Sense &
Passion for Ag Drive Snake River Sugar’s Chairman
By Don Lilleboe
Being a sugar company agriculturist entails wearing a lot of hats. One of the most important is that of crop advisor, fielding growers’ questions and providing management recommendations on everything from choosing seed varieties to harvest timing and procedures.
Beets in Grande Ronde: Small Production Pocket in Northeastern Oregon Produces High Sugars But Wrestles Aphanomyces
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Nearly all shareholders of Snake River Sugar Company — the parent cooperative of Amalgamated Sugar Company — farm in the Magic Valley of south central Idaho or the Treasure Valley of western Idaho/eastern Oregon. There are two exceptions. One is the Horse Heaven Hills area adjacent to the Columbia River in southern Washington, where three farming operations currently produce about 2,000 acres of sugarbeets. The other is in northeastern Oregon’s Grande Ronde Valley, where eight Amalgamated shareholders raise another 2,000 acres of beets each year.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower