The Roundup -

Season Is Off To A Good Start For Growers, Sidney Sugars


Sidney Sugars agricultural manager Duane Peters is very pleased with how the sugar beet season is starting out. “We’re having a good spring right now, which hopefully will lead to a very good harvest.”

In the first year of a three-year contract, 33,500 acres have been contracted, 25,527 of which were planted as of May 2. The 7,000 acres, which were planted early, are now emerging. The contracted acres are up from 30,900 last year due to several factors including the prices of other commodities and the stage in farmers’ 3 year rotations. The price farmers will receive is based on the actual selling price of the sugar.

Last week’s rain covered the entire growing area with varying amounts reported from 2 to 3 ½”. “It was really good moisture which covered our whole area,” Peters said. “Now we’re watching for crusting which could become an issue.” Growers and agriculturalists are also keeping their eyes open for glyphosate resistance. County agent Tim Fine has reported some mares tail across the river and Sidney Sugars will be working with the growers to determine different herbicides for control.

Peters expressed deep appreciation to Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project for getting the irrigation water in early. He also encouraged everyone to continue to support the project as it winds though various hurdles and expressed thanks to both the Montana and North Dakota leadership for its support.

Peters a change in leadership as well. Tom Astrup, former COO of Sidney Sugars is now president of American Crystal while Brian Ingulsrud is the new COO. Ingulsrud has an extensive ag background, which is beneficial to the growers and Sidney Sugars. “I’m looking forward to a good relationship with him,” Peters stated.

A new piler coming from Grand Forks will be on its way to the Sugar Valley station, while a piler from there will replace one in the Sidney yard. “It should help both stations deliver beets in a more timely manner,” Peters commented. With the end of campaign, factory workers are involved in lots of maintenance, with no major projects planned. “We have a full, good staff,” Peters stated.

In conjunction with the experiment station, coded strip trials will be conducted with area growers. Other trials include those between growers and seed companies and growers and local chemical reps.

Agriculturalists Todd Erickson in the south, Vanessa Pooch in Sidney and Culbertson, and Kathryn Cayko in Sugar Valley, as well as Peters are looking forward to a great growing season and an equally great harvest.


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