The Roundup -

Beet Growers Await Spring


Considering the ideal conditions for planting sugar beets is a drier soil, the last snow storm has postponed planting a couple weeks. With planting usually happening around April 20th, it looks like it may not happen until early May.

Although they are getting a late start, agricultural manager, Russ Fullmer, feels that they could be looking at a good tonnage this fall. Although the old commercial varieties of seeds would cause a loss of a ton to a ton and a half a week, the use of Roundup ready beets prevent that loss. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that with the use of Roundup Ready Beets, if planted by the end of May, the tonnage will not be affected.

As soon as conditions allow, growers will be working hard to get everything planted. Fullmer stated that “some of the bigger growers will go 24 hours straight” in order to get everything planted right away.

Fullmer stated that the contracted acres are looking pretty good but they “still have some stragglers”. He is estimating they should end up with 31,000-31,500 acres being planted, which is just shy of last year’s acres.

Changing gears from the upcoming season, another concern is the decrease in the price of sugar. Due to Brazil, Mexico and India producing high yields last year, there is an over supply of sugar, causing the prices to dip. Although Fullmer doesn’t think the acreage will be affected this year, it just might next year. We can only wait to see.


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