The Roundup -

Beet Harvest Wraps Up


October 24, 2018 | View PDF

It has been a rocky harvest with rain, snow and frost slowing progress on what should have been an excellent tonnage crop. However, good weather has provided good digging recently and beet harvest is coming to a close with Savage and Pleasantview completed and the other stations projected to be done by the end of this week.

According to Sidney Sugars Agricultural manager Duane Peters, their earlier tonnage predictions have not born out due to cold weather in September and October, which stopped growth. "The beets just stood still after September 15 instead of growing like they normally do," he explained. At 31.5, tonnage is still really good and a few 40 ton fields were seen, with at least one in each district. Peters attributed that to field selection and grower practices. "It shows the potential for higher tonnage," Peters said.

Sugar content is really good with a 17.8 average as of October 18 and lots of 18s coming in. Peters said the average should be closer to 18 by the end of harvest.

Peters said the growers seemed to be happy with the pre-pile and things were going fairly well until the frost hit and harvest was stopped from October 14 through 16. Up until that time, there were areas that didn't get rain and were able to continue digging. The healthy canopies were able to protest most beets from severe damage, with only a ½" or so in the crown being affected. Crops with poor canopies saw the worst damage.

Peters thanked the growers for their patience, dealing with adverse conditions, and knowing that some of them have lost drivers.

The upside of the cold weather is that the beets are storing really well. The factory, which started processing on September 12, is also running smoothly with campaign projected to run in a normal time frame.


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