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.
By Tyler Grove
MOORHEAD, Minn. – With planting commencing the week of April 12th, 98% of acreage was planted by May 16th, wet and snow conditions (up to 8” in the north) held planting back a few days which resumed and wrapped up by the end of May. The average planting date for the 2017 crop was May 2nd, four days ahead of our 10-year average planting date. Seedbed conditions were better than average in all districts, a pleasant surprise considering extreme wet conditions last fall in our northern districts (East Grand Forks, Minnesota and Drayton, North Dakota). Overall, drier soil conditions with decreased precipitation compared to last year warranted no major concerns of root diseases or insect pressure.
Weed control progressed nicely with some newer areas showing new resistant weed arrivals, primarily waterhemp, and common ragweed. Cercospora Leafspot has shown increased resistance to available fungicides in recent years. We have witnessed two high pressure Cercospora years in a row, with concerns once again this year. Growers were armed with a list of Cercospora management notes and a spray program consisting of tank mixes, fungicide rotations, and increased water volumes to best offset this damaging leaf disease, and overall control was deemed good.
By Rebecca Tokariuk
TABER, Alberta, Canada – Planting began in Alberta on April 27th, and carried on until about May 10th. Seeding was held off due to company negotiations with the worker’s Union. 27,000 acres were planted, with approximately 350 being re-seeded due to wind damage and herbicide carryover.
By Duane Peters
SIDNEY, Mont. – 2017 started off with drier than expected soil moisture. As growers started to plant, we all realized that most fields would need to be irrigated to provide moisture to have equal emergence. We were very thankful for our irrigation project. Irrigation water was available and many growers irrigated. The crop had very uneven emergence due to field dryness. As spring turned to summer, the irrigation became very important. We had a drier than normal year. Rainstorms were far and few between. We were three inches below normal for the months of June, July, and August.
Disease levels were very minimal due to dry weather conditions. Sidney Sugars started an early harvest this year, and that went very well. Harvest started around September 12th. Full harvest started on October 1st. We completed harvest on October 26th. Yield was 31.25 ton per acre and sugar was 17.99%. Overall, we considered this a very successful growing year. Beets appear to be storing well for the above normal winter temps. We expect slice to finish about mid-February.
By Todd Geselius
RENVILLE, Minn. – The 2017 crop at Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC) turned out to be a record despite issues along the way. Planting began in early to mid-April but was then delayed until the first part of May due to rain. Generally good growing conditions continued through June and early July with the first Cercospora Leafspot (CLS) fungicide applications going on around July 4th. The normally dry conditions in late July and early August were replaced with timely rainfall which resulted in exceptional beet growth during this period.
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.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower