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‘Serving The Nation’s Sugarbeet Community Since 1963’ Volume 50 Number 1 January 2011

Sugar Publications 4601 16th Ave. N. Fargo, ND 58102

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Phone: (701) 476-2111 Fax: (701) 476-2182 E-Mail: sugar@forumprinting.com Web Site: www.sugarpub.com Publisher: Sugar Publications General Manager & Editor: Don Lilleboe Advertising Manager: Heidi Wieland (701) 476-2003 Graphics: Forum Communications Printing

The Sugarbeet Grower is published six times annually (January, February, March, April/May, July/August, November/December) by Sugar Publications, a division of Forum Communications Printing. North American sugarbeet producers receive the magazine on a complimentary basis. Annual subscription rates are $12.00 domestic and $18.00 for foreign subscribers. Advertising in The Sugarbeet Grower does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular product or service by the publisher.

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— Feature Articles — 2010 Crop Year Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Reports from all North American growing areas

Stale Seedbed Within a Strip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Michigan growers employ zone till in beets

Sugarbeets in Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Overview of industry in world’s fifth largest producing nation

— Regular Pages — Dateline: Washington . . . . . . . . . . 10 Roundup Ready, Insurance, Congress

Write Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Toolbox challenges

Visit Our Website! Now Updated & Expanded!

Around the Industry . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Who, what & where it’s happening

— Front Cover — It was, in general, a very good year for sugarbeet production in 2010. See the crop year review beginning on page 4. Western Nebraska was the location for this scene. Photo: Don Lilleboe

www.sugarpub.com THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

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Reports from All North American Sugarbeet Areas Amalgamated Sugar Company

American Crystal Sugar Co.

Much of the Amalgamated crop was planted by the middle of April. For the third spring in a row, we had a difficult time getting a stand established because of cold weather, wind and mouse problems. Replants were higher than normal, which also caused lowerthan-desired stands in some fields. The spring and summer were cool, which inhibited growth. Autumn brought mild temperatures, which aided in the harvest. The weed control was excellent. Leafminer problems persisted later than normal, and treatment was needed in some areas. The sugarbeet root maggot showed less pressure and peaked later because of cold weather. Generally, cyst nematode, curly top and rhizomania were well controlled with resistant varieties, pesticides and cultural practices. Generally, the 2010 crop was received in excellent condition because of the proper soil moisture and temperature conditions. Harvest began on September 14 in the Twin Falls area, September 21 in the Mini-Cassia area and September 29 in the western part of the cooperative. Beet yields were below average, but the tare lab sugar was above average at 17.33%. — Stacey Camp

The 2010 cropping season got off to the earliest start in many, many years. Planting was 96% complete by the end of April. April temperatures were much above normal, enabling the crop to germinate and emerge much faster than average. Plant populations were the highest since the cooperative was formed. Some fields had row closure before June 15. The Drayton factory district experienced well-above-normal rainfall in May, June and early July, causing drownout and significant crop damage — especially in far northwestern Minnesota. Overall replanted acres were under 1% for the year. Growing degree days for May

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These pages contain our 24th annual sugarbeet crop summary. All current North American beet regions are represented by the reports included here. The Sugarbeet Grower extends our sincere thanks to those individuals listed who submitted the report for their company.

through August were normal or slightly above normal in 2010. September was very cool, with near-record low average temperatures for the month slowing growth and lowering sugar content. Pest problems causing greatest crop loss were root diseases, especially rhizoctonia. Aphanomyces severity was high in northwestern Minnesota. About 4,000 acres had very high incidence and severity of root rot and were abandoned as unfit for long-term storage. Root rots limited yield potential in numerous Red River Valley locales. Cercospora leafspot reached economic loss levels in fields in the southern part of the Moorhead factory district. Weather conditions were the most favorable for Cercospora development in the last 12 to 15 years. Control was very good in most fields, as shareholders applied more fungicide than in the past several years. Weed control was good to excellent in almost all fields. Root maggot problems were about average. Springtails continue to be observed in more fields each year, causing stand reduction and yield loss. Prepile started August 17 in anticipation of record yields. This was the earliest startup ever. Sugar content was very good for mid-August, and yields were already excellent. The full

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

Photo: Sherry Thompson / 2010 Harvest Sunrise, Becker County, Minn.

2010 Crop Year Review


stockpile harvest began on October 1 and was completed by October 23. Very warm weather was experienced during the first two weeks of harvest, with heat shutdowns being the order of the day. Shareholders were grateful for a dry harvest with almost no rainfall received until harvest was completed. Tare declined to average levels compared to record tare percentages in 2008 and 2009. The final average yield was the highest in American Crystal history at 26.3 tons per acre. Sugar loss to molasses was at a record low, with sugar content averaging just over 18%. — Allan Cattanach

September raised hopes that yields would move closer to the average. Harvesting of the crop ran very smoothly, as receiving station operating hours were impacted by the harvesting of other crops in the area. Maturity of other cops in the rotation was delayed due to the below-par growing season. The final beets were delivered on November 4. A total of 573,640 metric tonnes (632,151 short tons) of sugarbeets were harvested in Alberta in 2010, for an average yield of 19 metric tons (21 short tons) per acre. Average sugar content as measured by the tare lab was 18.6%. — Andrew Llewelyn-Jones

Lantic Inc.

Michigan Sugar Company

A total of 30,000 acres were contracted with Alberta growers for the 2010 season. The first beets were planted on April 7; but frequent rain and snow showers slowed planting during the rest of April, and only 55% of the crop had been planted by May 1. Normally, more than 70% of the crop is seeded by that time. Significant natural precipitation during May hampered seeding operations and the first herbicide applications, and a number of fields were not planted until the end of the month. In many cases, sections of fields lay in water for up to several days as growers battled the elements. Pumping of water off fields was a common sight throughout the growing area. Several acres ended up being not planted or abandoned due to the excessively wet conditions. Overall, plant stands were rated anywhere from poor to excellent within fields and between districts. In addition, many fields had to be top-dressed with nitrogen due to significant leaching and volatilization issues. Weed control was rated as satisfactory despite the early season difficulties. Control of insects focused mainly on flea beetles, wireworms and cutworms. The remainder of the Alberta growing season was impacted by unseasonably cool temperatures and the lasting impact of excessively wet field conditions. Several fields did not receive an irrigation application until well into August! Crop development was below average, and a below-average yield was anticipated. The 2010 harvest began on September 9, with factory processing commencing on the 22nd. Good growing conditions during the month of

The 2010 season in Michigan began on March 18, and approximately 24% of the crop was sown before the end of March. Starting to plant in midMarch is not that unusual; but having nearly 40,000 acres in the ground in March is very early for us. The early start was followed by some very good conditions that allowed us to essentially have our entire crop planted by the middle of April.

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

Emergence was good, and there was only a 2.1% replant for the year. We did have some isolated heavy rains that had a negative impact on a few acres; but for the most part, the early growing season was excellent. The crop was progressing throughout the summer, and it appeared to be a record-setting crop! In August, we experienced some drier-than-expected weather conditions, and the tonnage did slip just a little. The decision to start beet receiving early (August 23) was made in anticipation of a large crop — and before the four- to five-week dry spell in August and early September. This early start in Bay City was a good three weeks earlier than any previous year in our history. September rains eventually replenished some of the moisture, but we fell just short of a record harvest for total tons delivered. In terms of total tonnnage, 2010 produced our second largest crop in history. Our average yield of 26.07 tons per acre was also second to the 28.89-ton crop harvested just two years ago. The grower sugar of 18.17% was right at our three-year average for the cooperative. If we use just the beets

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harvested for long-term storage from October 19 through the completion of harvest, our average sugar was a very respectable 18.67%. Clear juice purity (CJP) was a bit lower than the previous two years but still good at 94.76. We have had a good storage season to date; and with the additional ventilation installed last year, we should be slicing ventilated beets by late January. Our expected finish date is some time the last week of February. We had hoped to set new receiving and slice records, but now it appears that this will be our second best season in history. This gives us the challenge of setting new records for 2011. The beautiful fall weather last October allowed all growers to have excellent fall tillage, so we are in position to start the 2011 crop as soon as soil conditions allow. — Paul Pfenninger

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Minn-Dak growers began planting the 2010 crop in early April due to very favorable conditions, and 90% of the crop was planted by the end of the month. Planting was completed in late May with a total of 115,800 acres planted. Biotech sugarbeets were planted for the third year, ending up on 99.9% of the acreage. Weed control

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was very good all season long. Growing conditions during the months of May, June, July and August were favorable for crop production. Rhizoctonia root rot affected more acres again this growing season and has become a significant concern. Crop samples in July indicated a very good crop in the making. This led to moving up the preharvest start date to August 17, the earliest on record. August samples confirmed an excellent crop was on the way. Main harvest began September 30 and was rain-free (though interrupted regularly for heat shutdowns). The harvest was completed on October 21. The 114,500 harvested acres yielded 3,108,000 tons of sugarbeets, for an average of 27.15 tons. Sugar content averaged 16.8%. — Tom Knudsen

Sidney Sugars, Inc. Crop year 2010 had a good start. We contracted 31,497 acres (and harvested 31,052). Only 203 acres were replanted. The Pleasant View district received some hard rains when the beets were small, causing a yield reduction at harvest time. Planting started in mid-April and finished by the middle of May. Plant populations were good, and timely rains helped the crop to develop. Summer temperatures were warm until September, which was cool and wet. The crop showed very good growth. The entire acreage was planted to Roundup Ready® beets. Fields were clean and free of weeds. A devastating hail storm hit the Fairview area in July, and more than 6,000 acres were damaged. Some fields lost more than four tons an acre because of the storm. We had many other areas that were lightly damaged by hail during the summer. Cercospora leafspot was identified during the summer, and many fields were treated a couple times to control this disease. Harvest began on September 28 in three stations. The rest of the stations began during the first week of October. There were many delays because of warm temperatures. Growers harvested at night and whenever conditions allowed. We took the last beets harvested on October 24. There was only one harvest delay because of rain. The beets went into the piles very clean and weed free. The entire acreage was harvested. The final average yield was 27.2 tons per acre, and the final sugar was 17.72%. — Russ Fullmer

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011


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Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative The spring of 2010 started off with excellent weather, allowing Southern Minn growers to get an early start on planting. As a result, more than 85% of the crop was planted prior to May 1. Plant stands generally were good, but a few fields were replanted due to wind damage. Weather during much of the growing season was relatively wet throughout much of the growing area. This resulted in rhizoctonia root rot being more prevalent than in the past. Overall, the crop continued to grow at a rapid pace throughout the summer, requiring us to start our prepile harvest earlier than ever before. Prepile harvest at SMBSC began on August 23. Prepile lasted the month of September, during which time parts of the growing area received

up to three times their normal rainfall. This created a struggle to keep the factory continually supplied with beets. Despite the difficulties, the growers responded and found ways to keep us supplied with beets. Fortunately, the month of October provided very favorable weather for harvest with only a few delays due to heat. SMBSC growers ended the 2010 crop year by delivering 3,094,801 tons from 114,893 harvested acres, resulting in an average yield of 26.94 tons per acre. This is the second largest crop we have grown at Southern Minn, surpassed only by the 2009 crop. The sugar content ended the season at 16.23%. It was a great crop overall — and one that went into storage in very good condition. — Todd Geselius

Spreckels Sugar Company, Inc. Planting of the 2009/10 Imperial Valley crop began the first week of September, with a first irrigation date

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of September 5. Temperatures ranged between 108-111°F. for the month of September. Planting got into full swing by the middle of the month, and the beets emerged to good stands. We had one variety that we had some skippy stands, but for the most part the stands were good enough to keep. With the high temperatures, the insect and weed pressure was high as well. But the growers were able to clean up the crop and keep the insects under control. Birds caused stand reductions in some fields in both the southern and the northern districts. October brought somewhat cooler temperatures (90-100°), a lessening of the insect pressure, and the bird problem moved to other crops. Stands continued to be good as the later-planted beets came up. Herbicides were applied and the beet fields were very clean. Fields with wild beet infestations had crews cleaning them up. November brought seasonal temperatures (ranging from 80 to 94°), and the crop made good progress. Crews continued to clean up fields with wild beet problems. The early beets began closing rows by mid-month, and the crop had a nice healthy appearance. We did see a few fields with evidence of rhizomania spots before the temperatures began cooling down. December again brought seasonal temperatures, and the crop progressed nicely. Initial root samples were taken the first of the month and indicated slightly below average yield and quality. We received over 0.3 inch of rain, which helped the crop and cleaned up things from all the dust on the leaves. January brought some rains to the valley that really helped the crop. Rain amounts for the month came to 1.98 inches — well above the area norm. Temperatures ranged from 64 to 76°, just a little above average. The January root samples responded to the warm weather and were above average in yield and average on quality. February was a little warmer than normal. We did not get any temperatures that dropped to the freezing mark. Root samples for the month showed a little above average on yield, while quality was average. The harvest start date was set at April 1, 2010, and growers began setting their irrigation schedules accordingly. We received over 0.5 inch of rain during March. That month also saw the early fields begin yellowing up for the start of harvest. Temperatures were normal (with a range of 74-88°). Root samples for the month showed average yield and quality.

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011


Harvest began, and the yields were a little better than we had expected. Temperatures ranged between 87-95° and the crop was coming into the station clean and well topped. Yields for the month averaged 30.27 tons per acre, with sugar content 17.90% and purity of 88.75%. May saw temperatures a little cooler than normal with a range of 95-99°. The crop was still looking very good, coming in clean and well topped. Yields to date had begun to throw the growers off their irrigation schedules, and we were beginning to see a few more clods come into the station. Yields for the month of May brought the to-date average up to 35.99 tons, sugar content to 17.84% and purity to 89.13%. The estimate for the 2010 crop was raised by one ton, to 42 tons. June again saw slightly below average temperatures, with a range of 105107°. The crop was making very good progress, and the factory operations to this point were excellent. Yields for the month of June brought the to-date average up to 39.66 tons, sugar content to 17.71% and purity to 89.23%. July temperatures were up around 110-112°. The estimate for the overall crop was again raised by one ton, to 43 tons. The crop was continuing to grow despite the high temperatures. Yields for the month of July brought the todate average to 42.67 tons, sugar content to 17.44% and purity to 88.98%. August was a “short” month as harvest was completed on the 10th. Yields finished at 43.91 tons per acre, sugar content at 17.26% and purity at 88.71%. August temperatures hit the last of the crop hard, and we had to leave 96 acres of beets in the ground because of quality issues. We harvested 25,166 acres of beets for the year. All in all, we had a very successful sugarbeet harvest in the Imperial Valley this year. Thanks to all the growers and factory operations for a great year. — Ron Tharp

sugar. The southern region averaged 25.74 tons with 17.57% sugar. Sugarbeet processing is scheduled to be complete in early February. — Jerry Darnell

Wyoming Sugar Company

had to release water because they were in the flood stage. The season had few disease issues in all growing areas. Growers with sugarbeet cyst nematodes continue to improve their yields by planting nematode-tolerant varieties. Early harvest began September 7 in the northern region (Billings and Lovell) and September 21 in the southern region (Scottsbluff, Torrington and Fort Morgan). Conditions were warm and dry in all areas. The high daytime temperatures caused a delay in regular harvest in all regions. The high temperatures required harvesting during the early morning hours for over a week and not piling during the day or the early evenings. Temperatures cooled later in the month, and 95% of the crop was harvested by October 31. Yields in the northern region averaged 29.4 tons per acre, with 16.96%

High sugar prices and stronger demand for sugarbeet acres put us right where we needed to be for our 2010 acreage. We found ourselves in a new situation: turning acres away rather than looking for more. For the second year in a row, we experienced a much cooler-than-normal summer with above-normal precipitation. The spring was particularly cool and wet. Even so, most of our beets were planted during the period of April 9-25. We had splendid beet growing weather, and we experienced very few disease or pest problems. We did receive a couple hail storms that affected fewer than 500 acres, but the setback to the beets was minimal. Harvest began on September 20. We had to regulate receiving hours during the first 10 days because of some warm temperatures. However, once we got into October the temperature cooled off, and other than one storm the weather stayed cool and dry. After the past few harvests with their mud, rain and freezing temperatures, we really enjoyed harvest this year. The beet piles have stored quite well, and processing has been going smoothly. Wyoming Sugar finished up the year with averages of 17.91% sugar and 28.59 net tons per acre. — Myron Casdorph ■

Western Sugar Cooperative The 2010 crop year started off cool across all regions, with the sugarbeets looking for more heat units. All regions had a hard freeze the first week of May, requiring 35% of the acres in Nebraska, 16% in Colorado, and 13% in Montana to be replanted. Those beet fields that did not need to be replanted had reduced plant populations from the freeze. Water supplies for irrigation were above average as several reservoirs

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

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Dateline: Washington — Roundup Ready Sugarbeets — Litigation: On December 21, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals extended its stay pending appeal of Judge Jeffrey White’s November 30, 2010, injunction requiring the destruction of sugar beet stecklings (seedlings) currently being grown under permits from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The stecklings are intended for research and breeding purposes, as well as for basic seed and hybrid seed production for 2012 and future years. The Appeals Court consolidated the permit litigation with the appeal of Judge White’s August 13, 2010, decision vacating the deregulation of biotech sugarbeets, and expedited the briefing and hearing schedule so that the appeals can be heard in early February 2011. To allow for consideration of the appeals, the stay of Judge White’s injunction has been extended to February 28, 2011, or such other time as the Ninth Circuit orders. The beet sugar industry’s growers, processors, technology providers and seed producers are pleased that the Court of Appeals will now have sufficient opportunity to consider relevant legal precedents and unrebutted evidence that the planting of these permitted steckling fields is authorized by law and would cause no harm. We are hopeful that this expedited appellate process will bring more certainty to our industry early in 2011. Administrative Action: Public commenting on the proposed options to grow Roundup Ready sugarbeets until the Environmental Impact Statement is concluded closed on December 6. Approximately 3,700 comments were filed with USDA, with the majority (80%) in support of partial deregulation. There was broad support from university scientists, sugarbeet growers, other commodity groups, organic growers, sugar customers, bankers, local businesses and more. USDA is aggressively processing those comments, and they will need to publicly respond to any key issues raised in the submissions. Any final modifications will be made to the Environmental Assessment, and then they will announce their decision on how to move forward. We have made USDA aware of the challenges growers face in making crop decisions for 2011, and we believe USDA is moving as expeditiously and thoughtfully as they can. At this time, we cannot speculate as to what decision they will make or when they will make it.

— Damaged Cane Crop — The sub-freezing temperatures in Florida in midDecember damaged sugarcane being harvested and the plant cane that was planted in the fall. Damage assessment usually takes some time to evaluate, and it will

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By Luther Markwart Executive Vice President American Sugarbeet Growers Assn.

likely be late January before accurate assessments can be made. The domestic sugar industry, customers, and government analysts are watching this closely to see the impact on domestic supplies and stocks. With production and inventories stockpiled early in the year, there is time to react to weather problems once all the factors are adequately assessed.

— Crop Insurance — The initial price election has been established at $41.50 per ton ($43 in California) by USDA’s Risk Management Agency for the 2011 crop. We clearly believe that the price is too low. As in the past three years, we have taken our case to the administrator of RMA, asking that the estimate be revised upward. That process is currently underway again this year, and a final decision by RMA will be made in mid-February.

— Congressional Reorganization — House Republicans are slowly organizing committees and assignments; the Democrats will wait until lists are “official” on January 5. Former Ag Committee chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota will become ranking member. The new committee chairman, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, has announced there will be 16 freshmen members on the committee. None are from beet areas, and only one freshman is from a beet state (Colorado). One new member is from a non-cane area of Florida. Republicans leaving the House Ag Committee for other assignments are: Jerry Moran (KS, moving to the Senate), Sam Graves (MO), Mike Rogers (AL), Adrian Smith (NE, moving to Ways and Means), David Poe (TN), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Bill Cassidy (LA) and Cynthia Lummis (WY, moving to Appropriations). Chairman of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management will be Michael Conaway of Texas. Jurisdiction is over programs and markets related to sugar, cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the CCC, and risk management, including crop insurance, commodity exchanges, and other specialty crops. Congressman Conaway is a strong leader and knowledgeable about sugar. We look forward to continuing to work closely with him in the years ahead. In the Senate, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI) will become chair of the Agriculture Committee. If, as expected, current ranking member Saxby Chambliss (GA) steps down to become ranking on the Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) is likely to become ranking on Ag. Sen. Chambliss is expected to remain on the Ag Committee. No other committee assignments had been made official as of the end of December. ■

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011


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Root maggots, springtails on 2011 sugarbeet insect watch list

on’t bet on 2011 being a repeat of the seemingly mild year for sugarbeet insects that occurred in the Red River Valley in 2010. That’s the advice from Dr. Mark Boetel, research and extension entomologist at North Dakota State University (NDSU). There’s a good chance that sugarbeet root maggots will be back in force in 2011. The growing problem with springtails isn’t likely to go away, either. As in most years, wireworms will be a threat to sugarbeet production, too. In reality, the 2010 root maggot infestation was worse than many growers realize, says Boetel. Evidence of the infestation was covered up

New springtail research

Control tradeoffs Warnings about challenging insect populations will focus decisions on how to control critical insects in the months ahead. On one side of the decision equation are superior performance and lower cost with soil insecticides. On the other: the planting-timing convenience of seed treatments. Boetel says the best choice isn’t clear-cut at lower insect pressures. But when root maggot pressures are high, soil insecticides tend to perform better and deliver more dollars to the bottom line. A three-year NDSU study published last year showed that under moderately high root maggot pressure, yield and

Growers opt for Counter For David Benedict and Glen Hultin, NDSU research on sugarbeet root maggots and springtails confirmed their decision to rely on Counter soil insecticide to control beet insects. David Benedict “When you need a gun, you might as well get the biggest gun you can—that’s what we’ve got with Counter for root maggots, springtails and wireworm,” says Benedict, who farms near Sabin, MN. “Counter is the only at-planting treatment that will take on springtails. The seed treatments aren’t as good. I don’t want to dive off that cliff.”

by frequent rains, which allowed beets to compensate for feeding damage. “This could be a sleeper situation,” he says. “Fly counts and fall root ratings suggest that there are plenty of root maggots out there to over-winter and infest the crop in 2011.” Projected high-risk areas for root maggot infestations in 2011 include Auburn, Glasston, Grafton, Nash and St. Thomas, all in North Dakota. Areas with projected moderate risk include Cavalier, Minto, Manvel, Oakwood, Reynolds and Thompson, in North Dakota, and Ada, Borup and Euclid, in Minnesota.

sucrose recovery from Counter® insecticide treatments were significantly higher than from seed treatments. Bottom-line gross returns from a high labeled rate of Counter were $155/acre better than the top seed treatment. “Growers in the heavily infested areas often use a more aggressive approach at planting with a granular soil insecticide,” he says. “Generally in our research we have seen that the granular materials are more efficacious for root maggot under heavy infestations.” In areas with heavy infestations, Boetel recommends coming back with an in-season postemergence insecticide treatment timed for peak fly activity, regardless of the planting-time treatment.

Hultin, who farms near Hillsboro, ND, remembers having fields devastated by root maggots in the early 1990s—and relies on Counter to avoid that experience again. “I remember harvesting 8 tons/acre in one field,” he says. “For me, using Counter is a noGlen Hultin brainer. It is cheaper and it is better.” Both Benedict and Hultin have outfitted their John Deere central-fill planters with the electronically controlled SmartBox® closed handling and application system. “The closed system is two thumbs up,” Benedict says. “It puts out the proper amount no matter how fast you go.”

Soil insecticides also have a leg up on seed treatments for control of springtails. NDSU rates Counter insecticide as “Excellent” against springtails, while seed treatment products get a “Good” rating. A new three-year NDSU study bears that out that difference. The study showed that at high springtail pressures, a low labeled rate of Counter insecticide produced the highest gross economic return, $1,012/acre – $105/acre higher than the best-performing seed treatment. “Springtails are more difficult to predict than root maggots,” adds Boetel. “In the past 10 years, with wetter springs, springtails have become more of a regular issue on heavy soils conducive to their buildup.”

With Counter’s new 20G formulation, Hultin can plant about 200 acres of beets with his 24-row planter before refilling—typically one fill per day. Benedict’s 36-row system covers about 300 acres before refilling. The Counter 20G formulation, which is available for Lock ‘N Load® and SmartBox application systems, improves planting-time efficiency by covering 33% more acres per fill than the previous 15G formulation, points out Elton Hendrickson, technical sales representative for AMVAC Chemical Corp. For more information on Counter 20G Insecticide and the SmartBox System, contact Elton Hendrickson at eltonh@amvac.net or call 701-741-5608. Counter, Lock ‘N Load and SmartBox are registered trademarks of AMVAC Chemical Corporation.


USDA Projects U.S. & Mexican Sugar Supply SDA’s December projection of Mexico sugar production for the 2010/11 marketing year was increased 200,000 metric tons, raw value (MTRV) over the November forecast. The figure is now 5.64 million MTRV, exceeding last year’s production by more than 500,000 MTRV. Based on analysis of recently released production forecasts in Mexico, USDA expects the sugarcane area there to increase 3.6% over that of last year, to 673,104 hectares (about 1.66 million acres) — and also expects sugar yields to increase by 5.6% to 7.912 tons (actual weight) per hectare. Increased sugar supply is forecast to expand Mexico’s exportable surplus on a one-to-one basis. Exports are now forecast at 1.138 million MTRV— most of which, if not all, is expected to enter the United States. Projected fiscal year (FY) 2011 U.S. sugar supply was increased in USDA’s December Sugar & Sweeteners Outlook report by 232,000 short tons, raw value (STRV) from that of November, mostly due to the above-described increase in imports from Mexico (about 220,000 STRV). Cane sugar production in Florida was reduced by 20,000 STRV to 1.7 million STRV because of lower projected sugar recovery from cane. Beginning stocks were increased 2,000 STRV due to revised ending stocks reported for FY 2010. Total use is unchanged. Deliveries for human consumption are forecast at 10.875 million STRV, about the same as last year. ■

U

U.S. Sugar Supply & Use* World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimate (WASDE) / Dec. 2010 2010/11 Projection Item 2008/09 2009/10 (Est.) Nov. Dec. Beginning Stocks Production Beet Sugar Cane Sugar Florida Hawaii Louisiana Texas Imports TRQ** Other Program Other Mexico Total Supply

- - - - - 1,000 Short Tons, Raw Value - - - - 1,501 1,534 1,664 1,503 8,230 7,967 7,532 8,210 4,800 4,575 4,214 4,800 3,430 3,392 3,318 3,410 1,720 1,638 1,577 1,700 170 161 192 170 1,400 1,481 1,397 1,400 140 112 152 140 2,744 3,318 3,082 2,994 1,409 1,854 1,370 1,409 300 450 308 300 1,035 1,014 1,404 1,285 1,025 807 1,402 1,245 12,475 12,819 12,278 12,707

Exports Deliveries Food Other Miscellaneous Total Use Ending Stocks

136 10,608 10,442 166 0 10,744 1,534

211 11,105 10,869 236 0 11,316 1,503

150 11,060 10,875 185 0 11,210 1,265

150 11,060 10,875 185 0 11,210 1,497

14.3

13.3

11.3

13.4

Stocks-to-Use Ratio

* Fiscal years beginning October 1. ** For 2010/11, includes shortfall of 60,000 tons.

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THE SUGARBEET GROWER (Upper Midwest) January 2011


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Write Field

Soon we start to cultivate And then begin to spray. With each job different kinds of scrap Pile up inside the tray. Shear bolts from the combine Are pretty hard to tell, From ones that fit the ditcher And the snow blower as well.

By David Kragnes

Beet harvest brings a challenge To slip in an extra part, That I may need to fix a truck When it just won’t start. Some 60 chain, a scalper knife, Perhaps an extra flail. ’Til squeezing in just one more thing Has no way but to fail.

My Toolbox Runneth Over The toolbox on my tractor Has a little tray. So I can take with things I need, Or just think I may.

The engineer who drew it up, I’m quite sure had no thought, That it should hold most every tool I have ever bought.

I’m sure it was intended When it was brand new, To hold a set of wrenches Perhaps a pliers or two.

As field work starts out in the spring, The box is pretty neat. And finding just the tool I need Is really quite a treat.

A set of sockets all laid out In a nice straight row, With a crescent wrench and hammer In the space below.

Then as the grain drill finds some junk Left from that old fence line, The toolbox starts to gain some weight; That’s not a real good sign.

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THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

I can’t get to the bottom To find the wrench I need. I planted scrap iron in the spring And now it’s gone to seed. Life is like that toolbox, Some times too filled with stuff. So take some time this winter, Clean out the worthless stuff.

David Kragnes farms near Felton, Minn. He is a former chairman of American Crystal Sugar Co., and currently serves on the board of directors of CoBank.

The Future Face of Sugarbeets The handsome young man at left is three-yearold Caleb Rutherford, whose parents, Roy and Laura, farm near Grafton, N.D. The photo was taken during this past fall’s Red River Valley beet harvest. “If Caleb chooses to farm when he grows up, he will be a third-generation sugarbeet grower,” Laura writes. Caleb has two brothers — Ian, who is four, and Logan, two months. Our thanks to the Rutherfords for sharing this delightful photo!

11


Stale Seedbed Within a Strip

Photos: Don Lilleboe

Crumbaughs Among Handful of Michigan Growers Employing Zone Till in Sugarbeets

tale seedbeds — wherein fields are tilled in the fall and then left untouched the following spring until the planter rolls in — have really caught on in Michigan the past several years. Nearly one-fourth of the state’s sugarbeet fields were planted into a stale seedbed this past season, compared to probably less than 5% just three or four years ago. Clay Crumbaugh is a longtime member of the stale-seedbed fraternity. He, wife Christine and father Rex, who farm in the Breckenridge-St. Louis vicinity, have been planting beets into a stale seedbed for the past 15 years. They began doing so on half their acreage and within three years had expanded the practice to 100% of their upcoming beet ground. More recently, however, the Crumbaughs have diverted some of their sugarbeet acreage into zone (strip) till. And it all began with a 2007 corn field. Crumbaugh sugarbeets traditional-

S

12

ly have followed soybeans in their rotation. That year, however, “we needed to figure out a way to raise sugarbeets after corn on a field or two,” Clay recounts. “We’d really been sold on the stale seedbed and liked it;

Clay Crumbaugh

but our question was, ‘How do you prepare a stale seedbed with all this corn fodder?’ I couldn’t imagine chisel plowing the corn stalks and then trying to field cultivate and prepare a stale seedbed on that field. “We’d heard about zone tilling. And since we liked our general stale seedbed, we thought, ‘Well, let’s see if we can prepare a ‘stale seedbed within a strip.’ ” They pulled their Brillion Zone Commander strip-till unit into the 160-acre field right on the heels of the corn combine, creating the tilled zones between the rows of corn stalks. The field sat untouched until the beet planter came through in the spring of 2008. (See photo on page 14.) The results off that first field were good enough to persuade the Crumbaughs to expand their zone-till experiment. As of 2010, about half their beet acreage was produced under a zone-till system. As yet, the Crumbaughs have not applied fertilizer during the fall zonetill pass. They maintain good N, P and K levels via broadcasting. In season, about half the beet crop’s additional nitrogen needs go on dry 2x2 with the planter; the other half is 28% liquid, banded on with the field sprayer after planting. Clay is considering applying P and K in the fall with the zone-till unit, but has not yet taken that step. How have the Crumbaugh zonetilled beets compared, in yield and quality, with those produced under a stale-seedbed system? They’re very similar. A Michigan Sugarbeet Advancement trial was conducted on the Crumbaugh Gratiot County farm in 2009, comparing single-pass zone till with a two-pass stale seedbed approach (disk chisel followed by field cultivator). Other inputs (fertilizer, weed control, fungicides) were identical. In the end, there were no significant differences in any of the measured parameters: final population (30 days after planting), tons per acre, percent sugar, pounds sugar per ton and per acre, or revenue per acre. So what’s the benefit of zone-tilled beets for the Crumbaughs? Single-pass seedbed preparation is a big one. Clay estimates he saves about $8 per acre in tillage costs as compared to the two-pass approach. Another advantage comes during inclement fall weather. “If we’re chisel plowing and get rained on, we’re ‘up a creek’ trying to get our secondary tillage done,” he says. “With the zone tiller, once we’ve made that pass, we’re done.” Crumbaugh is adamant about cre-

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011


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Photo: Clay Crumbaugh

Finding a satisfactory system for producing reduced-tillage beets on corn ground was the catalyst for the Crumbaughs’ entry into zone till. This is the ’08 beet field. ating perfect or near-perfect zones — including guess row spacing — for the next spring’s planter. “Placing the seed over the cut is important,” he states. The issue takes on an added dimension since their Brillion works just five 30-inch rows, while their

planter is 12 rows and the harvester, six rows. RTK guidance is hugely important; and along with it, the correct ballast and tire pressure on their JD 8330. The GPS receiver on the 8330 gets shuffled over to other tractors from time to time, “so every time

we switch a receiver, we calibrate — on our level shop floor with all tires at the correct pressure,” Clay stresses. Another appealing aspect of zone tilling, he adds, is that “once we’ve done that tillage pass, we don’t touch those zones again.” With a stale seedbed approach, “we do that primary tillage with the chisel plow — and then we drive all over again with the field cultivator.” Protecting young beets from spring winds is another key consideration. “Zone tilling offers more protection from wind erosion than does the stale seedbed,” Clay observes. Might the Crumbaugh farm’s sugarbeet acreage eventually be 100% zone till? It’s possible, but Clay is not rushing headlong in that direction. “We like to do things on a ‘crawl-walkrun’ basis,” he explains. “We’re between a ‘walk’ and a ‘run’ right now. So we’ll do as much as we can on any field where we think we might have success with zone tilling.” Clay hopes to have even more answers following the 2011 growing season, as he’ll be conducting another large-scale side-by-side comparison of zone-till versus stale-seedbed sugarbeets. — Don Lilleboe ■

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Photo Courtesy of Meliha Atalaysun / USDA-FAS / Istanbul

Sugarbeets in Turkey Middle East Nation Is The World’s 5th Largest Beet Sugar Producer By Peter Buzzanell*

Turkey is the largest beet sugar producer in the Middle East and fifth largest beet sugar producer in the world, ranking only behind France, Germany, the United States and Russia. With a population approaching 75 million, Turkey also is a significant sugar consumer. The sugar sector is highly regulated and subsidized, but this will change in the coming years when Turkey accedes to the European Union and adopts the EU sugar policies.

Production Based on Quota System According to the nation’s Sugar Law established in 2001, up to 2008/09 Turkey’s sugar production quota was set at 2.34 million (metric) tons, although actual year-to-year production was dependent on area planted, the level of input use and growing conditions. For 2008/09, the production quota was raised to 2.4 million tons, but actual production was only 2.1 million tons. It was raised again to 2.44 million tons in 2009/10, with actual production reaching 2.53 million tons that year. Of total 2009/10 production, 1.53 million tons were from state-owned and privately owned plants, and 1.0 million tons came from cooperative sugar plants (Pankobirlik). For 2010/11, reflecting high yields the year before and excess supply, the quota was reduced to 2.20 million tons; but actual production is expected to be 2.4 million tons. According * Peter Buzzanell is director of Virginia-based Peter Buzzanell, LLC. Prior to his retirement from USDA, he was head of the Sugar & Sweetener Analysis Unit at that agency’s Economic Research Service. The author wishes to thank the office of USDA’s agricultural counselor in Istanbul for its assistance in preparing this article. Editor’s Note: Peter Buzzanell also authored the article in The Sugarbeet Grower’s November/December 2010 issue titled “EU-27 Beet Sugar Industry: Charting a New Course.” Due to a printing error, his name was inadvertently omitted.

16

to industry sources, Turkey’s total sugar production capacity is 3.2 million metric tons. The “A” production quota is determined annually by the Sugar Board, with oversight by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, according to domestic sugar consumption needs. The Sugar Board has seven members: four government officials and one representative each from the state-owned Turkish Sugar Corporation (TSC), Pankobirlik (the producer cooperative) and starch-based sweetener producers. The quota distributed to state and private companies is based on their performance during the previous three years. In turn, farmers contract with beet refineries to process their output at a set procurement volume and price. There also is a “B” quota, which is a small amount produced as a margin. Lastly, there is a “C” quota, which consists of production that can not be marketed domestically. The “C” quota sugar is sold at world prices and is only utilized in sugar-containing products that are exported. There are 33 sugarbeet refineries in Turkey and six starch-based sweetener producers. The state-owned sector owns 25 of the sugarbeet refineries, while the remaining eight are privately owned. Many of the state-owned factories operated by TSC were opened in areas with high unemployment, and the government has further supported the state sector with high procurement prices.

Production Trends Sugarbeets are produced mainly in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey, with the leading producing provinces being Konya, Eskisehir and Atyon. (See map on next page.) Harvested area has averaged 340,000 hectares (about 840,000 acres) annually over the past decade. Area in 2010/11 is expected to contract down to 300,000 hectares due to the decreased production quotas and the high amount of carry-in stocks to the new year. The Sugar Board estimated the number of sugarbeet farms in 2008 at 209,000 and placed it at 187,937 in 2009. While the number of beet farms has decreased, yields have increased because of the use of more-modern agricultural

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011


Map Courtesy of Meliha Atalaysun / USDA-FAS / Istanbul

technologies, including irrigation. For 2009/10, Above: Striped/shaded is 75 kilograms; but some “passengers” cross beet yields were at record 53 metric tons per provinces on this map of the border several times a day and bring 75 hectare (the approximate equivalent of 23.6 Turkey denote the areas kilograms each time. This adds up to an estishort tons per acre), compared with the previ- of sugarbeet production. mated 200,000 tons per year and is suppleous nine-year annual average of 41 tons (about mented by sizeable smuggling operations from 18.3 short tons per acre). countries on Turkey’s southern border, most notably Syria. According to Pankobirlik, the sugarbeet producers’ coopBeet molasses — the byproduct of sugarbeet processing erative, beet yields during the past five years have varied — is used in animal feed and in the production of yeast and between 38 and 52 tons per hectare, depending on region alcohol. A small quantity is sold to neighboring countries. and weather conditions. In contrast, in the Konya region, yields have been running between 55 and 60 tons per Trade Continues To Be Small hectare, reflecting that region’s use of better machinery, irrigation and improved crop husbandry. Owing to the high internal price of sugar and the lack of Sugarbeets in Turkey are generally grown in a three- or export subsidies, Turkey’s sugar exports are small — an four-year rotation with cereals, pulses, fodder crops and estimated 40,000 metric tons in 2009/10 and 2010/11. sunflower. Planting begins in February and continues Azerbaijan is the primary destination. Manufacturers of through May, with the harvest from late July to November. sugar-containing products for export can buy “C” quota For marketing year 2009/10 (Sept.-Aug.), Turkish sugarbeet production was the highest in nine years, owing to Turkey’s Sugar Supply & Demand, 2000/01-2010/11 favorable weather conditions and expanded harvested area. Total harvested area was 324,000 hectares, yielding an estiSept.-Aug. Production Imports Exports Consumption mated 17.27 million metric tons of beets. Beet sugar pro- - - - 1,000 Metric Tons, Raw Value - - - duction for 2009/10 was 2.53 million tons. The forecast for 2010/11 is 14.0 million tons of beets yielding 2.4 million 2000/01 2,756 2 826 1,950 tons of beet sugar — a reflection of reduced area and more2001/02 1,796 1 378 1,850 normal weather conditions.

Consumption Expanding The state-owned Turkish Sugar Corporation and private producers, wholesalers and retailers handle the marketing of sugar. Industry sources place consumption of sugar at 2.8 million metric tons, well above the amount of sugar produced. With a population of 72.5 million (75% of which is urban), an estimated 38-kilograms-per-person use rate and a population growth rate of 1.3%, Turkish sugar consumption is trending upward. To meet demand, out-of-quota sugar is sourced from across Turkey’s southern border. According to Turkish law, the maximum amount of sugar a “passenger” or “tourist” can bring across the border

The SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11* * Projected

2,345 1,915 2,109 2,175 1,980 1,700 2,100 2,531 2,400

1 1 0 0 0 5 5 5 5

150 232 25 25 30 10 5 40 40

1,900 1,930 1,960 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,500 2,800 Source: USDA

17


Photo: Meliha Atalaysun / USDA-FAS / Istanbul

Above: A sugarbeet processing plant in Konya, one of the main beet-producing provinces of Turkey. sugar at world prices. “C” quota sugar has been selling for $594 per metric ton (27 cents/lb), whereas “A” quota sugar is selling for $1,310 per ton (59 cents/lb). Manufacturers can also import sugar duty-free for the products used for export. In the early 2000s, to minimize the cost of maintaining large inventories, the TSC began exporting large quantities of sugar. The significant difference between domestic beet sugar producer prices and world market prices resulted in huge losses, which were supported by the Turkish Treasury. These subsidized exports were ended in accordance with Turkey’s economic reform program and IMF agreement. The tariff rate on sugar imports is 135%, and the volume of imports is negligible. Though Turkey has a trade agreement with Bosnia-Herzegovina that allows duty-free imports of sugar, there is no significant volume of sugar trade between the two countries. Duties on sugar-containing-product imports such as candies and chocolates vary between 8.3 and 15.4%.

Policy Initiatives Underway Currently, there is also an effort in Turkey to find new uses for sugarbeets, mainly bio-ethanol. The Konya Sugar Company has built an ethanol plant at Cumra. This is the first and only ethanol factory in Turkey. Ethanol produc-

Monopill SE

tion started in 2007, and the plant has the capacity to process 800,000 tons of beets annually and produce 80,000 cubic meters of ethanol. In response to pressure from the IMF and the EU, the Turkish government has initialed a privatization program. Three government-owned refineries were privatized in 2004 and 2005: Kutahya, Adapazari and Aksaray. Three others — Ilgin, Bor and Eregli — were to be privatized in 2006, but there were no bids by the private sector, reflecting the low capacity of those three factories. In 2007 the privatization efforts for the government refiners was transferred to the Privatization Administration. In 2008 the Privatization Administration released a list of factories by group: A — Kars, Ercis, Agri, Mus and Erzurum B — Elazig, Malatya, Erzincan and Elbistan C — Kastamonu, Kirsehir, Turhal, Yozgat, Corum and Carsamba D — Bor, Ergli and Ilgin E — Usak, Alpulu, Burdur and Afyon F — Eskisehir and Ankara The factories in group A, located in eastern Turkey, did not get any bids from the private sector in 2008, reflecting their low capacities and inefficient operations. The bidding process was again canceled in 2009. TSC factories are widely known to be plagued with production inefficiencies and old technology. However, anti-privatization spokesmen assert that once these plants are privatized, only a few profitable refineries will survive and the rest will be shut down, causing a spike in unemployment. In the long run, the government expects the sugar sector to become more efficient once privatization is completed. Currently, sugar prices in Turkey are far above world prices because of government protection and outdated technology in the state-owned plants. Turkey plans to join the EU in 2014. As a result of joining the EU, the Turkish government plans to bring its sugar polices more in line with the new sugar policies of the EU — including a drop in sugarbeet procurement prices. Turkey’s aim is to adopt the EU’s basic system of nation law and regulations. Implementing elements of the EU regime will be difficult — especially the foreseen spike in rural unemployment. However, their adoption will make a significant contribution to modernizing the agricultural sector and the nation’s entire economy. ■

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18

— For Details — www.americansugarbeet.org THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011


Around The Industry Michigan/Ontario Research Reporting Session is Jan. 27 The 2010 Michigan/Ontario Sugarbeet Research Reporting Session is scheduled for January 27 at the Doubletree Hotel/Conference Center in Bay City. This fifth annual reporting session will cover current sugarbeet research being conducted in the Great Lakes region. More than a dozen research updates will be presented. Registration is required for the reporting session. For more information, contact the Michigan State University Extension Service, Saginaw, at (989) 758-2500.

Betaseed Restructures Company’s R&D Organization

Jay Miller

Steve Kober

Betaseed recently restructured the company’s research and development organization to support key strategic initiatives. Jay Miller was promoted to director of breeding and product management. In this new role, Miller provides corporate leadership for all North American research, breeding and product management activities. Miller’s team includes four plant breeders, plant pathologists, product management and technical specialists. Miller has been at Betaseed over 25 years in various roles, including plant breeding, station management and product management. He continues to work directly with KWS SAAT Ag, Einbeck, Germany, providing innovative, relevant technologies and genetics to North American markets. Steve Kober was named to the newly created position of director of stations for Betaseed. In this role, he provide leadership to station managers at Shakopee and Moorhead, Minn., and Kimberly, Idaho, and to station

THE SUGARBEET GROWER January 2011

personnel in implementing team-based breeding and field work supporting corporate initiatives. Kober has been at Betaseed for 20 years in various roles, including product management and breeding. He continues to work with KWS SAAT Ag in implementing new trial protocols and innovative farming technologies.

Voss Is New Plant Breeder at Betaseed’s Kimberly Station Betaseed has named Dr. HansHenning Voss as plant breeder at its Western Sugarbeet Research Center in Kimberly, Idaho. Voss will be responsible for the curly top and Genuity® Roundup Ready® breeding programs. Since March 2010, Voss has been a participant of the KWS SAAT Ag’s Hans-Henning Voss Breeders Academy program at the Kimberly station. His education includes an M.S. degree in agricultural sciences from the GeorgAugust-University in Gottingen, Germany, as well as a Ph.D. from the State Plant Breeding Institute at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. He most recently worked as head of wheat breeding, as well as assisted in hybrid rye breeding, at Dieckmann Seeds, Nienstadt, Germany.

Winners of Poncho Beta 2010 ‘Sweeter World Sweepstakes’ Poncho® Beta seed-applied insecticide made for a sweeter world in 2010 with a strong start to a great crop. Now, after the harvest, five growers are enjoying even more of the sweet life with winnings from the Sweeter World Sweepstakes. Kevin Olmstead from Grafton, N.D., won the grand prize trip for two to the 2011 American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz. The package includes conference registration, roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations for five nights and a spa or golf day. In addition to the grand prize win-

ner, four first-place winners won a new Apple iPad®. The iPads come WiFi enabled, so growers can access their email, go to websites for weather and commodity prices, and update farm records from the field. The first-place winners are: Kurt Aakre from Karlstad, Minn., James Fanfulik of East Grand Forks, Minn., Ronald Jensen from Stephen, Minn., and David Marchbanks of Parma, Idaho. The Sweeter World Sweepstakes is a demonstration of how Poncho Beta provides more to growers, says Bayer CropScience. Growers had the opportunity to enter the Sweeter World Sweepstakes online for three months from August 2 to October 31. More than 325 growers entered, learned about Poncho Beta and enhanced their sugarbeet knowledge online.

ASSBT Biennial Meeting Set For March 2-5 in Albuquerque The 35th general meeting of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists is scheduled for March 2-5, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, N. Mex. The event begins on the 2nd with registration and an evening reception. A general session is held on the morning of the 3rd, followed by technical sessions that afternoon and throughout the next two days. The 2011 ASSBT meeting concludes with the traditional awards banquet on the evening of the 5th. Complete meeting information can be obtained at www.bsdf-assbt.org or by calling ASSBT at (303) 832-4460.

2011 Sugarbeet Institute Takes Place March 16 & 17 in Fargo The 49th International Sugarbeet Institute will be on March 16 and 17, 2011, at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D. This annual event is North America’s largest sugarbeet trade show. Companies desiring exhibiting information for the 2011 ISBI should contact Bob Cournia, exhibits coordinator, at (218) 281-4681. Other ISBIrelated questions should be directed to Dr. Mohamed Khan, committee chairman, at (701) 231-8596. ■

19


Jan 2011 - The Sugarbeet Grower Magazine  

— Feature Articles — *2010 Crop Year Review ~ Reports from all North American growing areas *Stale Seedbed Within a Strip ~ Michigan growers...

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