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Western Sugar forecasts predict 2020 to be a record-breaking year for Nebraska sugarbeet production
Following a year of difficulty for local growers, USDA and Western Sugar forcasts predict 2020 to be a record breaking year for Nebraska sugarbeet production.
Sugarbeet yields are forecasted by the USDA to come in at 32.4 tons per acre, up 7 tons from 2019 yield data and breaking the previous record of 31.82 tons per acre set in 2018.
“It is nice that there is something to be happy about and some positive news,” UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center (PREC) Plant Pathologist Robert Harveson said, “It’s important that it (high yields) happen any year, but this is a nice comeback after the disaster last year.”
Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association President and local producer Kendall Busch said, growers have a sense of relief when it comes to this years production simple due to early freezes which came along and shut beets down early the last two years in a row.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm out there with early harvest starting here in a couple of weeks,” Busch said. “With our early harvest premium on top of the yields that are actually late September yields, what they are going to be pulling in a couple of weeks is going to be phenomenal.”
As of two weeks ago, data from Western Sugar testing falls in line with USDA forecasts, indicating areas of the Panhandle are producing record setting high yield and sugar content numbers.
“From what we had two weeks ago we are forecasting Nebraska to have a 32.7 ton per acre crop, with 18.75% sugar and those would both be records for the state as long as Mother Nature cooperates with us to finish the year,” South Region Vice President of Agriculture for Western Sugar Cooperative Jerry Darnell said.
A number of factors have attributed to the success of this years growing season, but most importantly, a season of good weather has been the leading factor in this years higher than normal yield numbers.
“We have had really good weather so far, our growing year units are ahead of last year by about 20% and so the extra heat is helping and we have had a lot less hail than we had a year ago. We still had some hail but not nearly as much,” Darnell said.
Harveson said, he believes nothing in particular has created these record breaking yield numbers, but instead a combination of environmental and growing factors.
“I think it is just a combination of factors, we have just had a great environment without any huge storms, knock on wood, and then I think the growers are just as good as you can be too,” Harveson said.
According to the USDA’s Aug. production forecasts for the state of Nebraska, 3,700 additional acres of harvest have also been added to the states sugar beet acreage of production, equaling a total 45,800 acres of sugarbeet to be harvested across the state.
Of the states total acreage, the USDA forecasts yield numbers to be 0.58 ton (approximately 1000lbs) per acre above last years sugarbeet yields.
“From our (Western Sugar) testing it shows all areas are ahead of where we were last year,” Darnell said.
Going forward, Busch said, he hopes market prices can remain firm and recent World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate numbers are currently at “happy medium.”“The nice thing the way our NAFTA is set up now, we can bring that sugar in from Mexico and keep our confectioners users happy and the producers such as myself happy,” Busch said, “This is really a happy medium, keeping the WASDE right around 13.5 to 14 works for most sides.”
Busch said, growers are anxious to get out in the field and see what this harvest will bring.
“I think the sugarbeet growers will finally be seeing a very profitable year,” Busch said, “We know its going to be a good crop . . .I am just glad I have sugarbeets out in the field.”
https://ift.tt/3gx1r4o Sugar Beet News |
August 27, 2020 at 10:22AM
Caro and Croswell factories to start Aug. 12; Bay City and Sebewaing factories Aug. 17
BAY CITY – Michigan Sugar Company began its 2020-2021 sugarbeet harvest on Tuesday, Aug. 11, with beets being received at the company’s factories in Caro and Croswell, both of which are set to begin slicing on Wednesday, Aug. 12, the earliest start date for a campaign in recent history.
Slicing is set to begin at Michigan Sugar’s Bay City and Sebewaing factories on Monday, Aug. 17.
Almost 50 years on from the closure of the Scottish Sugar Beet factory in Cupar, a rural innovation group aims to look into the feasibility of re-establishing the crop in eastern Scotland.
However, this time around, the aim is for the crop to contribute to climate change mitigation by producing bioethanol as a fuel additive as well as new plant-based biotech products, rather than sugar for human consumption.
Last summer, a report by the National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) identified that a refinery would need up to 20,000ha of sugar beet from arable land of class 3.1 or better, within a 30-60 mile radius of the refinery plant’s location.
Prof. Derek Stewart, agri-food business sector lead at The James Hutton Institute, said it was an “exciting opportunity” for the Scottish Bioeconomy, an underpinning part is which is the agriculture sector.
“Scottish farming is progressive and the resurrection of sugar beet production could both diversify farm incomes whilst helping to deliver to the Scottish Climate Change targets,” he said.
‘An opportunity and a challenge’
Iain Riddell from SAC Consulting, who is facilitating the group, said: “The feasibility of re-establishing the growing and processing of the crop in Scotland has brought together stakeholders with the will, the knowledge and the capability to make that vision reality.
“A resurrected crop and a new refinery could offer a huge opportunity for agriculture to contribute to CO2 reduction and in the creation of new plant-derived products, but farmers will also have to factor in the feasibility, risk and reward of growing a crop that is new to most of them.
“We have experience of producing the closely related energy beet crops for AD and the growing of fodder beet for livestock, and it should be possible to grow sugar beet, but comprehensive trials will be required to assess yield, sugar content and hardiness of modern varieties in Scottish conditions.
“We’d see the opportunity best suited to the better arable land in Angus, Fife and Perth and Kinross, potentially extending into the Lothians and Aberdeenshire, all depending on the refinery’s location.
“Wider challenges will also need to be considered, such as the potential for soil compaction associated with late, wet harvesting conditions.”
Project collaborators include Scottish Enterprise, The James Hutton Institute, SAOS and IBioIC (the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre), and farmers will have a chance to join in shortly through the Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) project.
David Smith, director of national opportunities at Scottish Enterprise, explained the environmental benefits of sugar beet as an alternative manufacturing feedstock will be investigated for use across a wide range of sectors instead of traditional fossil-based feedstocks.
Ian Archer, technical director at Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, said: “Biotechnology is the technology that underpins the bio-economy enabling the creation of new products and new processes to replace those we currently make from fossil-based resources.
“We currently import all of the bioethanol blended into forecourt petrol from England and France (the “E5” sticker we see on a petrol pump means the fuel has 5% bioethanol mixed into the petrol).
“Initially, Scottish sugar beet can be used as a raw material to provide a secure source of Scottish bioethanol from a local supply chain.
“Successfully reinstating a local source of sugar beet will enable the biotechnology sector to flourish in Scotland and with it, contribute to a just transition to a low carbon economy.”
https://ift.tt/2Z80Ctk Sugar Beet News |
via Agriland.co.uk https://ift.tt/2ZVTNbh
July 8, 2020 at 12:00PM
Soil-borne and Foliar Diseases top the charts as most Important Production Challenges in Minnesota and North Dakota Survey
By Alexa Lystad, Peter Haak and Tom Peters | North Dakota State University Extension
Grower seminars presented by North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota Extension Specialists are an annual tradition for sugarbeet growers and allied industry. The survey of pest control and other production practices was incorporated into the seminar in 2016. The survey replaces the ballot sugarbeet growers completed by mail beginning in 1968. In 2020, survey results reported by 245 Producer respondents represented approximately 174,032 acres or 28 percent of the 620,000 total sugarbeet acres planted in 2019.
Diseases were highlighted by Survey Respondents
Soil borne and foliar diseases were the most serious production challenges in sugarbeet in 2019 according to surveyed growers. Twenty-seven percent of surveyed growers reported Cercospora Leaf Spot (CLS) and 26 percent reported Rhizoctonia root and crown rot as their most serious production problem. Majority of respondents made four CLS applications with northern locations only needing about two to three and southern locations requiring five to six applications (see Table 1.) Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported using fungicide mixtures for CLS applications in 2019. About 40 percent of respondents started making CLS applications around July 1st and 52 percent completed the last spray between September 1 and 10th.
Back to the Future
Weeds and emergence/stand related production challenges were named the most serious challenge by 16 percent of respondents in 2019. Fifty-six percent of respondents named waterhemp as the most serious weed problem in sugarbeet in 2019, corresponding to approximately 368,600 acres. Common ragweed was named the second most important weed by 18 percent of survey respondents.
Soil applied herbicides were the backbone of weed management programs prior to the development of RR sugarbeet. Soil applied herbicides are back with the onset of waterhemp. Fifty-eight percent of respondents used soil-residual herbicides postemergence to sugarbeet and preemergence to waterhemp ‘lay-by’ in 2019. Outlook was the most commonly applied lay-by herbicide. Use of chloroacetamide herbicides (S-metolachlor, Outlook and Warrant) with glyphosate coincides with areas where glyphosate-resistant waterhemp is common. Seventy-five percent of respondents applying lay-by herbicides indicated ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ weed control. Preplant incorporated (PPI) or preemergence (PRE) herbicides were reported by 45 percent of respondents in 2019.
Insect Challenges, especially in the Northern Valley
Sugarbeet root maggot was the predominant insect pest problem for North Dakota and Minnesota in 2019. About 41 percent of respondents listed the root maggot as their worst insect pest problem, which was a 14 percent increase from 2018. About 11 percent of respondents identified grasshoppers as their top insect pest problem in 2019, which was a 390 percent increase from 2018. Springtails also increased by about 67 percent between 2018 and 2019.
Over 78 percent of respondents reported using a neonicotinoid seed treatment insecticide in 2019, which was an 8 percent increase from 2018. About 41 percent of respondents used a postemergence insecticide to manage the sugarbeet root maggot – a 14 percent increase from 2018. Overall, 11 percent of surveyed producers indicated that their insecticide uses in 2019 had increased in comparison to the previous five years.
Other Survey Findings
Mechanical weed control or hand labor was reported by 60 percent of survey respondents. Sugarbeet growers indicated 38 percent used at least some hand-weeding while 16 percent indicated use of inter-row-cultivation for weed control in sugarbeet. Most respondents indicated less than 10 percent of their acres were hand weeded.
Wheat was the most common crop to precede sugarbeet with 55 percent reported in 2019. Corn preceded sugarbeet on 27 percent and soybean on 9 percent of reported acres.
Nurse crops were seeded by 70 percent of participating growers. Wheat was the most reported nurse crop at 27 percent followed by barley at 26 percent, averaged across counties.
Story & photo by Robert M. Harveson |
University of Nebraska Extension Plant Pathologist, Panhandle R&E Center, Scottsbluff
In the early 1900s, the sugarbeet was unique among American crops due to its almost complete reliance upon Europe as a source for providing seed each season. The vast majority of all seed used in the U.S. during this period was produced in Europe - Germany and France. Over the first three decades of the 20th century, two major factors emerged that convinced Americans that a domestic seed industry was critically needed for sugarbeets. The first of these factors was the First World War, much of which occurred in the trenches and battlefields of Belgium, France, and Germany. This is the story of the sugarbeet seed industry, its beginning in the U.S., and how its birth was energized by WWI.
Harvey W. Wiley’s Early Research
After finishing medical school, and several years as the Professor of Chemistry at Indiana Medical College, Harvey Wiley took a position as the first chair of the Chemistry Department in 1874 at the newly formed Purdue University. While at Purdue, he became interested in sorghum and sugarbeets and their sugar chemistry as vehicles for developing new alternative sugar sources, with the eventual goal of enhancing the domestic production of sugar.
In 1883, he accepted a post as chief of the USDA’s Bureau of Chemistry. In 1887, prior to any commercial production in the U.S., Wiley preliminarily reported that he had successfully produced sugarbeet seed, but his first serious effort to produce seeds in the U.S. occurred in 1891 in Schuyler, Nebraska. Over the next decade, he achieved steady and continuous progress from different locations stretching from Michigan to Idaho and Washington with diverse soil and environmental conditions. Wiley’s pioneering research not only provided evidence that production in the U.S. was feasible, but it was also noted that American-grown seed possessed better quality, with superior germination and larger taproots and higher sucrose yields than those previously imported from Europe.
Based on these initial results, the USDA recommended the continuation of this work and to develop regionally-adapted seed for all beet-producing regions of the U.S. However, because the foreign supplies for seed were still available and judged as satisfactory, this advice was not heeded and little effort was expended until the mid-19-teens.
WWI Affecting Seed Availability
Beginning about 1915, with the escalation of the war conditions in Europe, the quality of seed either deteriorated or became generally unavailable. Even though the European seed previously used was highly susceptible to diseases and not well adapted for the variable environmental conditions in the U.S., the failure to procure sufficient supplies of seed during the war years was still an economic disaster resulting in the loss of income and investment capital. Therefore, it became apparent that an American sugar beet industry was sorely needed instead of depending on European sources. Wiley’s previous investigations 20-plus years earlier took on greater significance when seed availability was completely halted by the War, and sugar companies were forced to reconsider the concept of producing seeds domestically.
Domestic Sugarbeet Seed
The production of seed in America was initially modeled after programs utilized in Europe. However, no attempts were made to improve the quality or create new better-adapted varieties. As a biennial plant, the sugarbeet will grow vegetatively during the first year, building sucrose in the roots (purpose for commercial use today) for the following year’s reproductive growth. The seeds were initially planted, the roots were harvested after the first season, stored over the winter, and then transplanted the following spring for seed production.
As this idea was hastily conceived and implemented, substantial losses were suffered due to high labor costs, loss of roots in storage, and resulting poor yields ranging from a few hundred pounds/acre to 2000, with an average of 800 pounds/acre. After WWI ended, the sugarbeet industry returned to the importation of European seeds again, a practice that should have been avoided. Unfortunately, the lessons learned during the War were soon forgotten due to lower costs and greater convenience. Approximately 15,000,000 pounds from Europe were annually brought into the U.S. between 1920 and 1933.
However, it took a second significant factor to finally coerce us to create our own regionally adapted, disease-resistant seeds without depending on Europe. What was that second factor? See the July/August edition of The Sugarbeet Grower to find out.
Written By: Jonathan Knutson
When you've farmed for many years in eastern Montana, as Jerry Schillinger has, you're familiar with moisture-challenged springs that decrease the odds of harvesting a good crop in the relatively dry area. So the Circle, Mont., farmer is pleased by how the fledgling 2020 crop is shaping up.
"We're off to a good start. There's moisture, at least in our area," he said, noting that more rain was falling on the late May day that he spoke with Agweek.
But as is so often the case, generalizing about planting progress and crop conditions in the sprawling Upper Midwest — from Iowa and eastern Minnesota to central Montana and from the South Dakota-Nebraska border to the North Dakota-Canada border — is risky. What's true is one area isn't true else elsewhere, not even necessarily in the same county. For example, despite favorable conditions in Schillinger's area, parts of eastern Montana are short of moisture, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Even so, the weekly crop progress report released May 26 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows good progress overall across the region. The report reflected conditions on May 24.
Iowa and Minnesota, in particular, have done well on planting, especially corn and soybeans. South Dakota and Montana have done well, too, at least in places, while North Dakota continues to struggle overall.
Two examples: Minnesota farmers planted 98% of their corn by May 24, compared with an average of 88% for that date. But North Dakota producers planted just 70% of their spring wheat by May 24, down from an average of 88% for that date.
Schillinger said planting is close to wrapping up in his area, where small grains and pulse crops are common. Planting was complicated because some fields were too wet to harvest last fall and had to be harvested this spring. Yields and quality of the spring-harvested crops were better than might be expected, he said.
Here's a closer look at spring wheat, corn, soybeans and sugar beets. across the area.
Montana: 92% of the crop was planted by May 24, up from an average of 87% for that date.
Minnesota: 86% of the crop was in the ground by May 24, down from an average of 94% for that date. Most of the state's wheat is in northwest Minnesota, where wet conditions have hampered planting.
North Dakota: 70% of the crop was planted by May 24, down from an average of 88% for that date.
South Dakota: 97% of spring wheat was planted on May 24, up from an average of 94 % for that date.
Iowa: 97% was planted by May 24, up from an average of 91% for that date.
Minnesota: 98% of the crop was in the ground by May 24, up from an average of 88% for that date.
North Dakota: 54% of corn was planted by May 24, down sharply from an average of 79% for that date.
South Dakota: 86% of the crop was planted by May 24, compared with an average of 74% for that date.
South Dakota: 62% of soybeans was planted by May 24, compared with an average of 47% for that date.
Minnesota: 88% of beans was planted by May 24, up from an average of 70% for that date.
North Dakota: 29% of the crop was planted by May 24, down from an average of 60% for that date.
Iowa: 92% of the crop was in the ground by May 24, up sharply from an average of 64% for that date.
Minnesota: 90% of beets was planted by May 24, down from an average of 97% for that date.
North Dakota: 94% of the crop was planted by May 24, down from an average of 99% for that date.
Sugar Beet News |
via Agweek https://www.agweek.com
May 29, 2020 at 02:14PM
Cassie Bladow recently left the post as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, D-N.D., and on May 4 took a new position as president of the U.S. Beet Sugar Association
Cassie Bladow is president U.S. Beet Sugar Association. Photo courtesy Cassie Bladow
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cassie Bladow has worked in the nation’s capital for since 2009, but in a sense has always worked for farmers.
Bladow recently left the post as chief of staff for U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and on May 4 took a new position as president of the U.S. Beet Sugar Association, a group that includes the U.S. beet companies, all of which are farmer-owned cooperatives.
Bladow says the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the key issues affecting all of agriculture. She says keeping sugar on the shelf and keeping workers safe are key issues.
Bladow holds a management communications degree from North Dakota State University. “I knew I wanted to work in agriculture; I wanted to work for a commodity.”
She went to Washington in 2009 and took a job with the Florida, Texas and Hawaii Sugar Cane Growers. She married Shaun Bladow, a college sweetheart who came from Wahpeton, N.D. Shaun went to Washington as an accountant.
In 2011, Cassie went to Hoeven’s staff as a legislative correspondent, and shifted to legislative aide roles in 2012 to 2014, during the farm bill negotiations. In 2015, she went to the U.S. Beet Sugar Association as vice president. She spent three years before returning to Hoeven’s office as chief of staff.
Bladow’s family continues to farm near the town of Warren in northwest Minnesota and still raises sugar beets. Her grandparents, parents, a brother, uncle and cousin all farm in cooperation.
Bladow remembers her growing up years were always involving agriculture. At age 6, she was mowing lawn and cleaning horse stalls. At age 10, she was helping back up farm trucks to augers and leveled gravel where the trucks would come in. As soon as she got a driver's license, she was driving grain carts.
In addition to starting her U.S. Beet Sugar Association job, Cassie and Shaun are expecting their first child at the end of the month. “It’s going to be a busy May,” she says.
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via Agweek https://www.agweek.com
May 26, 2020 at 09:06AM
May 22, 2020, Montreal, Que. – Rogers Sugar Inc. has appointed Mike Walton, currently vice president, sales and marketing, to the position of chief operating officer of and president of The Maple Treat Corporation.
The newly created role, reporting to the president and CEO of Lantic, will reinforce the company’s succession plans, help improve the efficiency of decision making, and address important strategic decisions.
“Mike’s experience at Lantic makes him the perfect fit for this important and strategic role for the future of our business,” said Lantic CEO John Holliday. “Mike’s excellent leadership skills will certainly be instrumental in helping the highly skilled Maple and Sugar teams in our journey of becoming the leading North American natural sweetener supplier.”
Rogers Sugar also announces that after 12 years with the corporation and seven years as vice-president, finance, CFO and secretary, Manon Lacroix has decided to move on to the next chapter of her career. She will be staying on board until Aug. 15 to ensure a smooth transition during which a search to find her replacement will be taking place.
Lantic, based in Montreal, operates cane sugar refineries in Montreal, and Vancouver, as well as the only Canadian sugar beet processing facility in Taber, Alta.
Sugar Beet News |
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May 26, 2020 at 09:06AM
Flooding in central Michigan is impacting several farmers, right after many of them wrapped up planting.
Allyson Maxwell from Hope, Michigan says, “We’re about five miles south of where that first dam broke, the Edenville Dam.”
Allyson Maxwell farms with her husband Peter to grow about 12-hundred acres of corn, soybeans, and sugarbeets. They also have a smaller farm with pumpkins, sweet corn, and ornamental corn they sell directly to consumers.
With more than five inches of rain in less than 24 hours, they’re feeling fortunate. “It’s hard to compare the devastation that the people who live along these rivers and lakes and have lost everything, you know, to just having a little standing water on your field that you know is going to probably drain off, and aside from maybe some replanting, we’ll be fine.”
But once the floodwaters recede, Maxwell says the lost roads and bridges will make it hard to access their crops because their farmland is on both sides of Wixom Lake and both sides of the Tobacco River and the Tittabawassee River. “Most of the main roads that we use do cross over and use bridges and those are all gone. Instead of looking at fifteen to twenty minutes to get to a field, we’re probably looking at hours.”
Allyson Maxwell is thankful their fields are not in the path of the floodwaters south of the Edenville dam, but Peter Maxwell also farms with his father, uncles, and a cousin. They are concerned about potential flood losses with about 400 acres of Saginaw river bottomland that hasn’t flooded since 1986.
So far, two dams and several roads and bridges have been wiped out. Floodwaters were expected to crest in Midland, Michigan Wednesday night, after putting much of the town under five to nine feet of water.
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May 21, 2020 at 09:28PM
Beet this: Making sugar was big deal for Missoula
Here’s some sugar to sweeten another COVID Monday morning breakfast. Actually we’re talking sugar beets.
OK, OK. This is about a sugar beet factory and, yes, things are going sour quickly.
But Missoula’s sugar beet factories were a big deal. The first of two spit out its first crystals in 1916. The second, on the same site, fired up in 1928 and was shuttered in 1966.
The plants were west of town, in an area now known as “behind Target.” Edulog, the school-bus software company, renovated and moved its world headquarters into the old brick factory in 1992, and architect Eric Hefty helped the Missoulian’s John Stromnes round up some of the factory’s sugar-making history.
“While in operation, the plant paid nearly $1 million a year to farmers for beets, and about $500,000 in salaries and $250,000 in related supplies to the local economy,” Stromnes relayed. “Many Missoula natives worked at the sugar-beet plant each summer to supplement their incomes or get college money.”
So sugar beets were us, Missoula, through the guts of the 20th century. (How’s that breakfast coming?)
"Declining market conditions and the subsequent decline in local acreage devoted to sugar beets caused the closure,” an info box in Stromnes’ story related.
But that’s new history.
That a sugar beet factory was big news for Missoula is illustrated by the first reference to it in the Missoulian, in 1905 — more than two decades before we got one.
The paper hailed a November visit of one David Eccles of Ogden, Utah, president of Amalgamated Sugar Co. He was in town “for the purpose of interviewing the business men regarding a proposition to establish a beet sugar factory here.”
Eccles posed the same proposition in Hamilton. We won’t attempt to sort out what came of his discussions, other than to say nothing did, in either town.
But the enthusiasm wasn’t lost. A year later, an editorial in the Nov. 10, 1906, Missoulian said the newsroom was “in receipt of a sample of granulated sugar from the Billings Sugar company."
"This is the first sugar manufactured in Montana and was ‘run off’ October 28," the piece proclaimed. "The establishment of a sugar plant at Billings marks the beginning of an industry which in time will become the greatest in the state.”
Finally, in 1916, the Great Western Sugar Co. announced it would build a factory in Missoula in time for the 1917 growing season.
“Without doubt one of the best items of news which this city has ever received,” the Missoulian said.
Due to disagreements between owners and growers, the Great Western plant was operated just one season before it was dismantled, leaving only a smokestack. Amalgamated was still around in 1927 and came courting Missoula again.
“All Together Now — Let’s Build A Beet Sugar Factory” was bannered across a two-page advertisement on July 17 of that year.
“Every farmer in Western Montana should grow sugar beets,” the ad trumpeted. “The crop is relatively certain and the money is ready when the beets are harvested. We know of no other crop which has a determined price at the time the seed is put into the ground.”
Dozens of businesses sponsored the ad.
“Let’s have a sugar factory,” urged the Brunswick Store, Harry L. Reeves, Proprietor.
“Sugar beets for idle acres,” cheered the Shapard Hotel, adding, “Beet pulp fattens livestock.”
“Missoula needs another payroll. Let’s have a sugar factory,” the Florence Laundry Co. reasoned.
The blitz worked.
Some 150 farmers were in attendance at a luncheon in the Florence Hotel on Sept. 27, 1927, when an Amalgamated Sugar representative announced two huge projects in Missoula worth $2 million. His Utah company would build a factory in Missoula in 1928 and the Northern Pacific Railroad would immediately begin work to change its Bitterroot line to accommodate the new factory.
The plant rose over the next year around the old Great Western smokestack. Amalgamated cranked out its first sugar in Missoula on Oct. 11, 1928. By the end of the season a month later, 468 carloads of beets had been delivered to the factory by rail, “besides those that were delivered from nearby points by truck.”
The next year’s production would be three times that, the paper stated.
In the spring of 1936, Amalgamated and the American Crystal Co. traded properties. Missoula’s sugar beet factory remained American Crystal's until it was shuttered for good in 1966. Shrinking acreage and poor weather contributed to the demise. Labor costs had climbed 10 percent in 1963 and another 8 percent in 1964.
“When growers saw the (labor) rate scale this year, they said to heck with it and went to barley,” said the grower association’s president, Norris Nichols of Stevensville.
“Farewell!” mourned a Missoulian epitaph at the start of the 1966 harvest season in September.
“Western Montana will miss the sugar beet industry it has enjoyed — as a cash crop, source of employment and market for transportation, utilities and other supplies — continuously since 1928. With normal year expenditures of about $3 million, the American Crystal Sugar Co. plant will be missed.”
Sugar Beet News |
via missoulian.com https://missoulian.com
May 19, 2020 at 01:58PM