The Roundup -

ACH Seeds / Crystal Beet Seed Enjoys Success in the Sidney Sugars Growing Area


February 13, 2019 | View PDF

One of the strip trials from last year's harvest.

ACH Seeds has enjoyed success in the sugarbeet industry due to constant research, developing varieties with excellent tonnage and sugar content as well as Yield Strength Rhizomania Tolerance, Fusarium, Aphanomyces, Rhizoctonia and Cercospora tolerance along with nematode resistance in select varieties.

Crystal Beet Seed produced for the US markets is grown in Oregon and Washington, and processed in Oregon or Minnesota, depending on the market area.

Along with their own proprietary testing, strip trials are also conducted locally with ACH Seeds Independent Sales Agent Jeff Bieber always having one on his farm and at in least one other growing area, in order to evaluate performance under various conditions. Sidney Sugars and EARC have also had Crystal Beet Seed in their strip trials. Beiber said that ACH showed its most success last year with ACH strip trial information mirroring that of EARC and Sidney Sugars. "That was really neat to see," he said. He praised Duane Peters and the ag staff at Sidney Sugars saying that they were very good to work with, allowing a small sampling of a newer variety not yet approved for commercial use to be grown alongside an older variety. "It was really beneficial to have that side by side comparison for the growers," he said.

Results come during the main flow of harvest when Sidney Sugars allows for specific truckloads of beets to be sampled for sugar content and tonnage. "They rely on that data also," Beiber explained.

Selling never stops for Bieber, who markets to the entire Sidney Sugars growing area. Grower meetings take place in the fields at the strip trials and in area towns about Thanksgiving time. "There are well educated growers in our area and they know what they want," Bieber said.

It seems early to sell in November but Bieber explained that the process involved in getting the seed ready to plant takes time. The seed needs to be sized, cleaned, primed and treated before a very smooth coating and the signature green color is applied. The smooth coating results in the seed being like a BB, allowing it to go through the planter very easily. Each year, Bieber and Dave Braaten, ACH Seeds National Product Manager, host a couple of individuals on a trip to see the process. This year grower Dana Berwick will make the trip in February.

When a new variety of beet seed comes out, growers ask questions like how the beets look after it's defoliated, are they out of the ground or level? This provides a snapshot of what the beets look like at harvest, with the stand easier to harvest and with less mud.

ACH Seeds conducts its National Bounty Award program every year recognizing sugarbeet operations with the highest combined sugar production utilizing Crystal Beet Seed. In the Sidney Sugars growing area, one sugar beet operation is recognized from each of the five districts, each receiving a jacket and a plaque. The SSI sugarbeet operation with the highest combined total of RST and RSA is then chosen as the regional winner from those five districts and receives a trip for two to American Sugarbeet Growers Association (ASGA) annual meeting. The SSI regional representative goes on to compete for national recognition out of 8 participants from the various production regions in North America. The national recipient receives a customized UTV. Dell and Kim Nollmeyer were SSI Regional representatives in 2017 travelling to Washington, DC for ASGA, while Zach Huber is the 2018 SSI regional recipient, recently traveling to the ASGA annual meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. Zach is a young farmer from the Pleasant View growing area. "It's great to see a young farmer receive the award," Bieber commented, "He manages and grows a great crop!


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