The year was 2008. Eli Manning captivated the country during Superbowl XLII with a game-winning fourth quarter drive to stun the undefeated New England Patriots. Illinois Senator, Barack Obama, was elected the 44th President of the United States and two fellas by the name of Flo Rida and T-Pain had the number one song in the country with “Low.”
2008 was also the year Roundup Ready® sugarbeets revolutionized the sugarbeet industry.
The 45th annual survey of weed control and production practices among sugarbeet growers in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota benefited from an uptick in participation compared to 2012. A total of 183 growers responded to the 2013 survey request, compared to 114 the prior year. Overall, growers planted just over 676,000 acres of sugarbeets in the Minnesota/ eastern North Dakota region in 2013. The 183 survey respondents represent 18% — or 121,063 — of total acres planted.
Of the acres reported upon, 99% were planted to Roundup Ready® sugarbeet varieties. Total beet acreage treated with herbicides in 2013 (taking into account multiple applicatons) was 232%. While that level was slightly higher than 2012’s 208%, it was lower than most of the past several years. In 2007, for instance, the last year prior to the introduction of commercial Roundup Ready beets in the region, herbicide treatments stood at 383%.
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Luther Markwart focused on “take home” messages in his summary remarks toward the conclusion of this year’s American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting. “What do we tell our growers? What do we do as leaders of this industry?” ASGA’s longtime executive vice president asked the local and regional grower association leaders in attendance.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower