Jerry Darnell, Vice President of Agriculture for Western Sugar Cooperative, recaps their 2017 growing season.
By Jerry Darnell
DENVER, Colo. – The 2017 growing season started off ahead of normal in all Western Sugar regions except for the Lovell, Wyoming area which had above normal precipitation during planting. The growing region had a full supply of irrigation water. The cooperative had minimal replant and abandoned acres in all areas. Sugarbeet diseases and pests were very minimal this year across the cooperative.
Above normal temperatures in October caused the sugarbeet harvest to be delayed for an extended period of time. There were several days that no harvest was allowed because of the warm soil temperatures that would not allow for a long term storable sugarbeet in the pile. Ambient and soil temperatures finally cooled and full harvest was allowed to resume at the end of October. Early harvest started on August 28th in Billings, Montana and harvest was completed on November 22nd in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Yields in the Montana region averaged 36.6 tons per acre, with a 17.41% sugar. Lovell, Wyoming averaged 27.9 tons per acre with a 17.20% sugar. Nebraska averaged 31.2 tons with a 17.45% sugar and Colorado 35.4 tons with a 17.15% sugar. Sugarbeet processing is scheduled to be completed in late February/early March.
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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Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower