Weather Challenges Force Some Sugar Beet Growers to Replant


A three-inch rain storm in the area during the early part of May wasn’t the best thing for some eastern Montana sugar beet growers.

“It gave us false moisture,” Duane Peters, agricultural manager at Sidney Sugars, explained. “Our ground was so dry. The rain just soaked in.”

The result was that replanting was performed at more than 1,400 acres in the region.

“We had various problems,” Peters said.

He also mentioned growers faced the challenges of cutworms and springtails. He explained springtails are usually just in the northern part of the area, but they were also south of Sidney this spring.

“It’s a very bad pest in the spring,” Peters said. “We had cutworms because of the mild winter. It’s now under control because of a good job by the farmers and the ag staff.”

Peters said the amount of replanting was just a little more than usual. In 2015, 3 percent of the acres needed to be replanted. This year, it was 4 percent that was replanted.

Peters said growers are thankful for the amount of moisture that came to the area during late May.

“We are still anticipating a good year if Mother Nature cooperates,” Peters said. “All areas are progressing nicely.”

He is also pleased with the purchase of a new piler by American Crystal for the Sugar Valley.

“It should help with the production of delivery this fall,” Peters said.

He reminds area residents to attend the MSU field day on June 30. In addition, Sidney Sugars is having chemical company representatives present a Cercospora workshop on July 14.


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