Mike Greear, president of Wyoming Sugar Company, recaps their 2017 growing season.
By Mike Greear
WORLAND, WY – 2017 started off very wet and as a result over half the crop was planted late. On average the crop was 10 to 14 days behind. Overall, we had great stands and with good weather in June, July and August and the crop tried to catch up, but it just did not get to our new “normal”.
We had planned an earlier than normal harvest to mitigate harvest and pile risk; however, just like last year, Mother Nature had other plans and rain delayed our start up yet again. Nonetheless, we were able to start major harvest activates on the 28th and despite a lot of mud 100% of the crop was harvested and pile.
The company-wide average for the crop was 30.3 tons per acre and 17.97% sugar. Overall, not a bad crop, but we have come to expect higher tonnage.
After harvest, we had great weather for storing beets and crop stored well. Nearly all our remaining beets are on forced-air ventilation and we do not expect much pile loss. The campaign is slated to finish in late January.
Sugar producers in North Dakota and Minnesota had a much better 2017 in regards to Cercospora defense, compared to 2016.
By Mike Spieker | Photos by Mohamed Khan.
Editor’s Note: In the November/December 2016 issue, we recapped the severity of Cercospora during the 2016 growing season throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. In 2017, the disease was much less significant in some areas. Several factors played into that result, such as management and/or weather. In this article, we cover Cercospora’s effects on the 2017 growing season from northern North Dakota to southern Minnesota.
Agronomy Manager, Jerry Christenson, reflects upon 40 years with American Crystal
By Mike Spieker
The retirement bells rang this fall for one of American Crystal Sugar Company’s longest and most valued employees. Jerry Christenson, agronomy manager for American Crystal, stepped down after four decades with the United States’ largest beet sugar manufacturer.
Schatzke Farms of Wheatland, N.D. has seen tremendous change over