Sugar Beet Trials at Sidney Sugars
November 1, 2017 | View PDF
Sidney Sugars has implemented six strip trials on sugar beet seed varieties during this 2017 growing season. The purpose of these trials is to identify what sugar beet seed variety proves to be most successful in this area. Each seed variety is used in different locations to determine how they perform under various environments, soils, and management.
At the beginning of the growing season, Sidney Sugars asked local growers if they would be willing to participate in growing strip trials on their farm. “There is also another trial conducted along with assistance from MSU Research in Sidney, MT that we call our “Coded Varieties Trials.” This usually involves up to 30 different varieties from all major beet seed companies,” said Duane Peters, Agricultural Manager at Sidney Sugars.
The sugar beet seed varieties used in the strip trials are from Betaseed and ACH Crystal Sugar Company. Betaseed is the leading sugar beet seed brand for farmers in North America that has a high yield potential infused with the industry standard for disease tolerance. ACH Crystal Sugar Company is also known as a premier sugar beet seed supplier for many producers across America and is known for producing high-quality sugar beet seed varieties. Sidney Sugars utilizes these companies to offer six local growers the opportunity to participate in beet seed trials. They have a total of six types, three varieties from each seed brand.
There are two growers each from Savage, Sidney, and Fairview. The six farmers plant and take care of the strip trials as they would typically take care of their own sugar beets. Sidney Sugars employees label the strip trials by putting signs up in the grower’s fields, so that other farmers may review the trials. The employees also take detailed and precise notes and then record the progress of the sugar beets throughout the growing season.
During the fall, growers harvest the sugar beets separately from their beets. After harvesting the sugar beets, Sidney Sugars runs quality analyses of each variety for tons per acre and sugar percentage. “The main goal of these trials is to see how varieties perform under “true” grower farming practices,” said Peters. The information on the strip trials will then be shared with local growers at a seed meeting in November.