Longtime Sugar Industry Leader — And Founder of
The Sugarbeet Grower — Passed Away in August
Were there an “Association of No-Till Sugarbeet Producers,” the group probably could hold its annual meeting inside a single beet cart. Reduced-tillage beet growers? Of course, there’s a lot of that these days. Strip-till beets? Certainly. But bona fide no-till? That’s still a rarity, to be sure.
Managing Cercospora Resistance: An Outline of the Issue — And Recommendations — in Michigan Sugarbeets
By Greg Clark
Cercospora leafspot is among the most serious diseases of sugarbeets in Michigan, capable of inflicting significant tonnage and sucrose losses as well as increased impurities. Yield losses of two tons per acre and one-fourth point of sugar are common in our growing region, with some fields having lost upwards of several tons and a couple points of sugar.
Southern Minn Co-op Develops Model to Assist Nitrogen Management & Boost Profitability
By Chris Dunsmore, Jody Steffel & Mark Bredehoeft*
Can the level of organic matter (OM) influence sugar percent and purity in one’s sugarbeet crop? And, assuming it can, how might organic matter zones be mapped in order to allow growers to appropriately modify nitrogen application rates to take advantage of this relationship?
Idaho USDA-ARS Research Aids in Work to Rein in Rhizomania, Curly Top
By Ann Perry*
The whole point of growing sugarbeets is to produce sugar. But once the beets are harvested and stored for processing, they slowly start to decay, which lowers their sucrose levels.
Red River Valley Research Evaluates Impact Eight Years After Lime Application
By Carol Windels, Jason Brantner, Albert Sims & Carl Bradley*
The spreading of spent lime on sugarbeet fields around Minnesota and eastern North Dakota has increased significantly in recent years — with a primary motivation, in many instances, being to help manage Aphanomyces root rot.
Three years of research into growing sugarbeets without irrigation in western Nebraska yielded some intriguing results. But University of Nebraska researchers are not ready to recommend beets as a dryland crop for their region.
Strong Start, Strong Finish / Michigan's Hagen Brothers Bank on Stale Seedbeds & Huge Beet Carts / By Don Lilleboe
Clint Hagen (left) and Michigan Sugar Co. agriculturist Matt Booms. Photo: Don Lilleboe
In a successful sugarbeet operation, every phase of the production season is important — but none more so than a strong start and a strong finish. Brothers Clint and Brad Hagen know that as well as anyone else. For the past decade-plus, the Hagens, who operate Atwater Farms near Ubly, Mich., have bolstered their season’s “start” by implementing a stale seedbed system. More recently, they’ve bulked up the season’s “finish” by building huge beet carts used not only on their own farm, but also at nearby Michigan Sugar Company piling sites.
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Chile’s beet sugar production has averaged 323,000 metric tons, raw value, over the past decade, and the sector continues to be among the world’s lowest-cost beet sugar producers. Growth in sugar consumption has led to substantial annual imports of refined sugar, with the bulk of these imports coming from other Latin American countries, particularly Argentina.
Crumbaughs Among Handful of Michigan Growers Employing Zone Till in Sugarbeets
Stale seedbeds — wherein fields are tilled in the fall and then left untouched the following spring until the planter rolls in — have really caught on in Michigan the past several years. Nearly one-fourth of the state’s sugarbeet fields were planted into a stale seedbed this past season, compared to probably less than 5% just three or four years ago.
Clay Crumbaugh is a longtime member of the stale-seedbed fraternity. He, wife Christine and father Rex, who farm in the Breckenridge-St. Louis vicinity, have been planting beets into a stale seedbed for the past 15 years. They began doing so on half their acreage and within three years had expanded the practice to 100% of their upcoming beet ground.
More recently, however, the Crumbaughs have diverted some of their sugarbeet acreage into zone (strip) till. And it all began with a 2007 corn field.
Editor & General Manager of The Sugarbeet Grower