Michigan Sugar Company’s Research Department Employs Custom-Built, Specialized Plot Harvester - by Brian Groulx
For many years, plot harvest for the Michigan Sugar Company Research Department entailed working with a pair of two-row Farmhand harvesters whose origin dated back to the mid-1950s. The machines went through numerous updates from 2000 onward, including the installation of grab-roll cleaning beds, hydraulically driven components and digital scales.
Overall, the harvesters worked quite well; but they were slow and really stretched the harvest season to its absolute maximum. Plus, their limitations restricted the number and geographic scope of research trials that could be feasibly conducted.
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By Larry Campbell & Allan Cattanach
Editor’s Note: The American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (ASSBT) held its 37th biennial meeting in Anaheim, Calif., from February 27 to March 2. During that meeting, ASSBT paused to celebrate its 75th anniversary as an organization.
To help recognize this milestone, two longtime ASSBT members — Larry Campbell and Allan Cattanach — compiled a history of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists. Campbell is sugarbeet research geneticist with USDA-ARS at Fargo, N.D. Cattanach, who is American Crystal Sugar Company’s general agronomist, wrapped up a two-year term as ASSBT president at the Anaheim meeting.
A modestly edited version of that history is provided here.