Sugar Beet Symposiums Offer Educational Opportunities
February 13, 2019 | View PDF
Educational opportunities abound for sugarbeet growers eager to keep up on the latest information in their field. From Ag Days and the EARC Field Days in Sidney to symposiums in Billings and Fargo, resources that enhance production are readily available.
The newly formed Montana State Crop Education Association hosted the Malt Barley and Sugarbeet Symposium in Billings on January 8 and 9, 2019. Sidney Sugars agriculturalist Kathryn Cayko is a member of the association and attended the symposium. She said it was really successful this year with great attendance, excellent speakers, a better venue, and more space for vendors at the Billings Convention Center. Plans are already underway for 2021 with the association working hard to make the venue even better and more interesting.
Alan Dwyer with MSU Bozeman, who Cayko said is always great, spoke on fungicides for beets and barley. Barley grower Buzz Matlin, who is also president of the National Barley Growers Association, talked on the future of the industry and gave great points on how the barley industry is doing in the U.S. Andrew Kniss, University of Wyoming, gave a captivating presentation on herbicides and weeds. Luther Markwart presented fascinating information on the farm bill process and why certain areas oppose the bill due to lack of exposure to the agriculture industry. He spends a lot of time in Washington, D.C. and has seen a lot of what is happening in congress. “He’s great at explaining other peoples’ point of view and his take on things is very interesting,” Cayko stated. Precision Ag was also a hot topic with Rajiv Khosla of Colorado State University presenting an interesting talk focused on how to maximize production on any type of ground. With testing down to just a 5’ square, precision ag can demonstrate at what level farming certain areas is economically viable. Different soil needs and fertilizer applications can be maximized using the technology. Focused primarily on corn and beets, Cayko said it was a great talk.
The Malt Barley Symposium takes place every 2 years, so the next one will be in 2021.
The International sugar beet Trade Show will take place on March 21 and 22 in Fargo, ND. Cayko will attend that show as well, this time as a spokesperson for GMOs with four other women from North Dakota and Minnesota. Their booth has been a very popular one where they do games, have coloring books for kids and lots of information about the success and benefits of GMO crops.
Cayko encourages everyone to attend the symposiums stressing that they are a very valuable source of information for growers wishing to maximize their profits.