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GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Red River Valley sugar beet farmers suffered through a difficult 2019 crop season and could face tough planting conditions this spring. Even so, there's big-picture reason for optimism, an industry official said.
"You all are the most sustainable beet producers in the world. You're at the forefront of the sustainability discussion," said Scott Herndon, vice president and general counsel of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association in Washington, D.C.
He spoke March 12 on the final day at the annual International Sugarbeet Institute in Grand Forks. The two-day event drew attendees from the Upper Midwest, across the country and Canada.
Sustainability is increasingly important in Washington, so it's vital for agriculture to position itself as part of the solution rather than be viewed as part of the the problem, said Herndon, who represents the sugar beet industry before Congress and the Trump administration.
A coalition of farm groups known as Farmers for a Sustainable Future is working hard to spread the good word about agriculture's positive role in sustainability, he said.
More information: sustainablefarming.us.
On a policy level, there's good news for sugar beet farmers, Herndon said. Highlights include:
Sugar beets are an important crop in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, which Mohamed Khan called "the nation's sugar basket."
Kahn, Extension sugar beet specialist with both the University of Minnesota and North Dakota State University and an organizer of the International Sugarbeet Institute, said it's too early to predict how 2020 planting will go for area sugar beet farmers. Part of the uncertainty is what happens to fields — on which sugar beets might be planted this spring — that couldn't be harvested last fall and still have standing crops on them.
Weather conditions in March and April will be crucial, he said.
Area sugar beet farmers are extremely productive and efficient, Khan said.
"The one thing we can't control is the weather. It can be a blessing. It can be a curse. But we just can't do anything about it," he said.
https://ift.tt/2ygpsfo Sugar Beet News |
March 31, 2020 at 10:28AM
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Betaseed has been providing high quality sugarbeet varieties to California growers for over 30 years and has verified that a grower in the Imperial Valley growing region of California has set a new yield record with a Betaseed variety.
In 2019, Baja Farms, using Betaseed 5460 in a 73-acre field, averaged 80.69 ton per acre with 16.31% sugar content which produced 22,378 pounds of “recoverable” sugar per acre.
World records are not new to Betaseed. In 2011, Baja Farms, using Betaseed 4521R in a 70-acre field, averaged 78.71 ton per acre with 15.89% sugar content. Congratulations to Baja Farms for setting a new world record for a second time.
Ben Abatti Jr. and wife Judy along with sons Braden and Ben the 3rd, have been farming at Baja Farms for 44 years. Of the many different crops on their 4,500-acre farm such as alfalfa, wheat, carrots, thyme, parsley, etc., they also grow 1,200 acres of sugarbeet. “Thanks to the plant breeders and all others at Betaseed. Their varieties are keeping Baja Farms in business,” said Ben Abatti Jr.
Betaseed, Inc., headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota is the market leader in sugarbeet seed. Betaseed has had a longstanding commitment to the beet sugar industry focusing on the development of new varieties to improve the efficiency and profitability of sugar production.
For more information about Betaseed, visit betaseed.com.
The latest news on global farm trade comes as little surprise to those of us who either farm or depend on farming for our own businesses. The reality is that farmers have been struggling, between tight overseas markets and bad weather. This is especially true for young farmers in our area who are hit the hardest when cash flows tighten because we have little equity to fall back on during lean times. In tough times like those we faced this year it is hard to get political leaders in D.C. to understand.
That all being said I know there is, and always has been one person on our side in Washington, D.C., who will fight for us here in rural Minnesota: Congressman Collin Peterson. I’m a Republican, and Trump voter, who is relieved that Peterson is running for reelection, and could keep his position as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Many of our neighbors who don’t farm may think the farm economy doesn’t matter as much. But make no mistake. Every home and business in Western Minnesota has some tie to agriculture, whether directly as a farm family or farm operation, as a business that sells to farmers, or a business that relies on the money that agriculture brings to our communities.
Collin is our friend in Washington. And he is a powerful friend, on top of the House Agriculture Committee. As Chairman, Peterson shapes legislation that creates jobs in energy, transportation and shipping, supports our rural hospitals and builds out the infrastructure we need out here, whether that’s broadband networks or community centers.
We face uncertainties on the farm. Those economic uncertainties are extending through our economic system, touching homes and businesses that may not believe they are connected to agriculture, but are. The one thing we can be certain of is that Congressman Peterson is on our side, and he is devoted to Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District. That powerful stewardship of our interests in Congress cannot be replaced again, if we replace Collin. Let’s all get behind him and help him win.
24 year old, 2nd Generation Farmer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Red River Valley sugar beet industry struggled through a onerous 2019 harvest and could face a difficult 2020 planting season, too. But the annual International Sugarbeet Institute, set for March 11-12 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, seeks to provide encouragement and fellowship to members of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, said an organizer of the event.
"We want it to give uplifting for people involved with sugar beets," said Mohamed Khan, Extension sugar beet specialist with North Dakota State University and the Univeristy of Minnesota.
An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people will attend this year's event at which more than 125 companies, all with ties to the sugar beet industry, will exhibit their wares. Doors open at 9 a.m. both days and close at 5 p.m. March 11 and 3 p.m. March 12. Parking and admission are free, as are breakfast and lunch both days.
Typically, sugar beet equipment with a combined value of more than $3 million is exhibited each year. That reflects the growing size and sophistication of equipment used by sugar beet producers, Khan said.
Highlights this year include presentations at 10:50 a.m. March 11 by Courtney Gaine, president and CEO of the Sugar Alliance in Washington, D.C., and at 10:50 a.m. March 12 by Scott Herndon, vice president and general counsel of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.
Both presentations will help attendees to better understand big-picture issues facing the sugar beet industry, Khan said.
Listening to industry leaders and visiting with others involved in the industry are always valuable, but the opportunity to rebuild enthusiasm is especially important this year after the wet and snowy 2019 harvest, he said.
The event, which began in 1963, has changed its name and location several times. The "international" was added in 1980, when Manitoba sugar producers joined in. Today, participants come from across the country and abroad, though the majority are from the Upper Midwest.
The International Sugarbeet Institute rotates every year between the Alerus Center in Grand Forks and the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D., 75 miles to the south. Khan said the arrangement has been popular with, and convenient for, sugar beet producers in both the southern and northern Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, where sugar beets are an important crop.
https://ift.tt/3cFlooW Sugar Beet News |
March 4, 2020 at 09:00AM