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‘Serving The Nation’s Sugarbeet Community Since 1963’ Volume 52 Number 3 March 2013

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

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— Feature Articles — Sailing Forward in San Diego . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Photos and commentary from ASGA’s annual meeting

Biotech in Sugarbeets: Potential Opportunities . . . 8 Seed company leaders look to the future

Advertising Manager: Heidi Wieland (701) 476-2003

‘Take Home’ Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Graphics: Forum Communications Printing

WSC Growers Liking ‘Ultra’ Test Stands . . . . . . . . . 16

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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ASGA’s Luther Markwart reports to members Units improve ease and accuracy of calibration

ASSBT Marks 75th Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Society celebrates contributions to beet industry

— Regular Pages —

— Front Cover —

Dateline: Washington . . . . . . . . . . 12 Implications of the ‘Sugar Reform Act’

A 2012 eastern Montana sugarbeet field flourishes beneath the summer sun.

30 Years Ago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Excerpts from the March 1983 issue

Photo: Don Lilleboe

Write Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Fashion Dunce

Around the Industry . . . . . . . . . . . 23 https://twitter.com/sugarpub THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013

Who, what & where it’s happening 3


ASGA Meeting Photos by Don Lilleboe

Sailing Forward In San Diego

he sun hid out for part of the week, but for sugarbeet growers visiting from places like Michigan and the Red River Valley, early February in San Diego still provided a warm respite. About 360 beet growers, spouses and affiliated industry traveled to southern California for the 2013 annual meeting of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. Along with a lot of one-on-one conversation, they also listened to speakers addressing several timely topics of importance to the nation’s sugar industry.

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On these pages we provide photos and message highlights from several of those presentations, as well as other photos from the event. On pages 8 and 9 there’s a report on an intriguing panel discussion on opportunities in sugarbeet biotechnology. Then, on pages 10 and 11, we provide a summary of ASGA Executive Vice President Luther Markwart’s “take home” message for meeting participants. ASGA’s 2014 annual meeting is scheduled to take place February 9-11 in Tampa, Fla. ❖

Above: A veteran of several ASGA annual meetings and numerous other sugar industry events, the always-popular Jim Wiesemeyer delivered his take on the ag and trade outlook. Informa Economics’ senior vice president for farm and trade policy named nine key factors impacting U.S. and global food and agricultural markets over the next decade, including: (1) global growth and rise of the middle class in developing countries; (2) value of the U.S. dollar; (3) worldwide biofuels production; (4) role of trade and trade liberalization and transportation; (5) energy and agricultural input prices; (6) biotech and other yield/precision developments; (7) additional land for crops in places like Brazil, Africa and the Ukraine; and the two “wild cards” — (8) the weather; and (9) politics and policy. His take-away message: strong growth in food demand from emerging markets will keep global prices and profitability strong. Wiesemeyer envisioned a new farm bill probably being a reality by the August congressional recess. “Stand your guard,” he cautioned beet growers.

Left: Humberto Jasso Torres (left), executive director of the Mexican Sugar Chamber, joined Craig Ruffalo (right) vice president of Oakland, Calif.-based McKeany Flavell for a discussion of the North American sugar market. Sweetener consumption in Mexico is projected at about 6.0 million metric tons in 2012/13 — equal to the nation’s (record) projected production of sugar this year. The country’s internal market for sweeteners is strong, having grown by more than 50% over the past two decades. Since the implementation of NAFTA, Mexico has exported more than 4.1 million (metric) tons of sugar to the U.S., while likewise importing about 3.9 million tons of high-fructose corn syrup from the U.S. Jasso advocated improved information flow on both nations’ sweetener markets, U.S.-Mexico harmonization of trade policies to the greatest extent possible, and a joint position on sugar when it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ruffalo recapped the U.S. market during the past several years, noting that current price levels strongly reflect the record U.S. beet and cane production — and Mexico’s projected record sugarcane output. Industrial buyers are in the “driver’s seat” right now, he pointed out, with only 20% of 2014 sugar needs having been contracted as of early 2013. That compares with about 75% at the same time a year ago.

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Above: Pam Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, outlined the ever-increasing complexity of the global food supply. (Also shown in this photo are Kelly Erickson, ASGA president, and Luther Markwart, ASGA executive vice president.) Within the U.S., she noted, the average grocery store stocked about 7,300 different products as of 1965; today it is closer to 40,000. Most consumers don’t have much understanding of what goes into providing their food, she observed. “What consumers do pay attention to is the media” — including social media, she said. “It is imperative that we, as a value chain, provide consumers with simple, easy-to-understand information.” Speaking on the subject of biotech and food labeling, “GMA and its member companies strongly support the continued use of food ingredients made from [biotech products],” Bailey stated. GMA and many of its member companies worked extensively to help defeat the recent California Proposition 37 labeling initiative. But “the public debate is far from over” on this subject, she stressed. Below: Jeff Harrison of Combest, Sell & Associates, whose clients include the American Sugar Alliance, reviewed the 112th Congress’ accomplishments (or lack thereof) and looked ahead to the 113th. Analyzing why a new fiveyear farm bill was not enacted, “I place

the blame on a situation where Congress and Washington were more prone to extension,” he stated, noting that of 241 laws passed during the 112th Congress, only eight could be considered “major new legislation.” Calling the sugar lobby an excellent example of “unity on substance and strategy,” Harrison encouraged ASGA members to “make your House and Senate members your champions,” to continue educating other members of Congress, and to remain supportive of their political action committees. “You have great representation in Washington, and you are excellent ‘on the ground’ there,” he emphasized.

Right: Maxine Enciso of global public relations agency Ketchum works with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance to infuse the voice of agriculture into the conversation taking place about food. “This is about having a long-term conversation with consumers and decision

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Above: Steve Peterson, director of sourcing sustainability for General Mills, outlined the company’s sustainability program. General Mills “is committed to protect and conserve the natural resource base our business depends upon by continuously improving our environmental performance,” its mission states. The General Mills effort to lighten its carbon and water footprint is based on the understanding that while resources are finite, demand continues to increase dramatically, given global population growth and the rising middle class in numerous developing countries. General Mills, the world’s sixth largest food company, has enlisted many of its suppliers in this collaborative stakeholder effort.

makers,” she explained. Trust and transparency are vital elements in helping consumers understand and be comfortable with the quality of the food they are buying and eating, Enciso said. For more details on this program, visit www.fooddialogues.com.

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Above: ASGA’s 2013 leadership team includes, left to right: Executive Vice President Luther Markwart; President Kelly Erickson (Hallock, Minn.); Vice President John Snyder (Worland, Wyo.); and Treasurer Don Steinbeisser, Jr. (Sidney, Mont.).

Above: Dr. Charles Baker (left), executive vice president and chief science officer for the Sugar Association, Inc., was one of several individuals and teams to be recognized by the ASGA Board of Directors for special contributions to the beet sugar industry in connection with bringing Roundup Ready sugarbeets to market and helping defend the technology during extended litigation. Baker was instrumental in the collection and analysis of sugar samples from around the world to prove that sugar from Roundup Ready beets was identical at the molecular level to sugar produced from conventionally or organically grown beet or cane. Here he is being presented with a resolution certificate by Kelly Erickson, ASGA president. Others recognized via ASGA board resolutions included Tom Schwartz, executive vice president of the Beet Sugar Development Foundation; Idaho sugarbeet producer Duane Grant; Wyoming producer John Snyder; ASGA’s executive vice president, Luther Markwart; James Johnson, president of the United States Beet Sugar Association; the Monsanto Roundup Ready sugarbeet technology team; the USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services team; USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack; and members of the Baker Hostetler legal team.

BEET AND GRAIN TRAILERS WITH FLOTATION

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Above: Retiring ASGA board member and Michigan grower Gene Meylan (left) is presented with an appreciation plaque by ASGA President Kelly Erickson for his years of service to the association. Other board retirees this year were Doug Etten (Minn-Dak) and Jeff Henry (Idaho). New members of the ASGA Board of Directors include Nick Ludowese (Southern Minnesota), Clark Gerstacker (Michigan) and a yet-to-be named member from Idaho. “As we look to the year ahead, we must maneuver in a political environment that is both turbulent and unpredictable,” Erickson noted in his closing remarks to the 2013 annual meeting’s audience. “Such an environment requires us to play both offense and defense at the same time. Our industry is unified, coordinated, with strategic plans in place — and we are all properly motivated to carry out our respective tasks.”

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Biotech in Sugarbeets: Potential Opportunities Seed Company Leaders Provide Insights on What’s in the Pipeline o date, the buzz about biotechnology within the sugarbeet sector has focused largely on Roundup Ready® sugarbeets. First grown commercially in 2007 in north central Wyoming, Roundup Ready beet acreage skyrocketed the following year. For the past four years, Roundup Ready varieties have been planted on around 95% of total U.S. (and Canadian) sugarbeet acreage as growers have embraced the benefits for their individual farming operations. As important a player as Roundup Ready varieties are, however, they’re really the “opening chapter” in a futuristic biotech book now being written. That was the core message from three seed company leaders who comprised the “Potential Opportunities in Sugarbeet Biotechnology” panel at the 2013 American Sugarbeet Growers Associa-

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tion annual meeting. The three were: Steve Fritz, general manager of SES Vanderhave USA; Darcy Pawlik, North America industry relations lead for Syngenta; and Kurt Wickstrom, president of Betaseed, Inc. The trio discussed various challenges and likely timelines in bringing new biotech-trait products to the marketplace, and also shared some of the specific priorities at their respective companies. ES Vanderhave’s Fritz pointed out that one of the most important objectives in bringing new genetics and biotech traits to the market is to not pull unwanted traits along with the desired ones. “In addition to eliminating unwanted traits, we focus on maintaining or increasing existing disease packages, recoverable sugar, recoverable tons — and overall grower rev-

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Above, left to right: Steve Fritz of SES Vanderhave, Darcy Pawlik of Syngenta and Kurt Wickstrom of Betaseed were members of the biotech discussion panel at this year’s American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting.

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enue,” he noted. So rather than developing single traits in a consecutive fashion, “all active tracks are worked on at the same time.” Bringing a new sugarbeet biotech trait to the market can take upwards of 10 years — or more, Fritz explained. The process at SES Vanderhave encompasses several critical steps: (1) trait discovery; (2) proof of concept; (3) early development; (4) advancement; (5) deregulation; (6) the pre-commercial phase; and (7) actual market delivery. “The regulatory process for any new biotech trait will continue to be long and expensive for any crop,” Fritz observed. That phase of the process is complicated by the fact that various other crops are in the governmental regulatory review/approval pipeline simultaneously with their own requests and needs. SES Vanderhave — which recently built a new multi-million dollar greenhouse complex at its headquarters in Belgium to bolster its breeding programs — is working on several biotech sugarbeet traits. The only one that is currently commercialized in the U.S. industry is Roundup Ready beets. Other biotech projects being pursued by SES Vanderhave are still in the discovery/proof of concept/early development phases. Among them are virus resistance (e.g., rhizomania), nitrogen use efficiency, water use efficiency, fungal resistance (e.g., Cercospora leafspot), yield improvement and stacked herbicide resistance traits. yngenta’s Pawlik began his remarks by reminding the ASGA audience of several key benefits reaped from biotech advancements in sugarbeets, including: new options for weed control, insect protection and disease resistance; improved crop productivity; the identification and development of integrated crop solutions; a lessening of impacts on the environment; and the preservation of a sustainable and geographically diverse supply of sugar. One eye-opening avenue being pursued at Syngenta, Pawlik reported, is the development of a winter beet, known as WIZZARD®. These varieties would be planted in late summer/early fall in areas like the Treasure Valley of Oregon/Idaho and possibly the southern Idaho region; then harvested 10 to 11 months later. Along with agronomic benefits for the grower (up to 25% more yield, improved sugar content, more-efficient uptake of nitrogen), the winter beet also would extend the processing campaign at these areas’ factories, thus better utilizing

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those huge fixed assets. Several years of overwinter trials of WIZZARD have already been conducted in Europe, with the plant survival rate being high. Successful trials also have been conducted in the United States. However, the winter beet is still a long way from commercialization, Pawlik emphasized. Syngenta also is working on a biotech approach to rhizomania resistance. The trait is based on a gene silencing mechanism that stops the replication of the virus within the plant cell. Efficacy of this event — referred to as GM RZ — has been proven in greenhouse and field trials, but commercialization is still several years down the road. One major consideration for any company evaluating commercialization of a new biotech trait, Pawlik pointed out, is market size. With the entire North American sugarbeet area being about 1.2 million acres, the ability to recoup costs is much more difficult than in a crop like corn or soybeans. However, if countries like Russia, the Ukraine and China likewise were viable markets for this technology, commercialization challenges would be reduced. Western Europe, for the time being at least, is not as accepting of biotechnology.

The market introduction of transgenic varieties resistant to Cercospora would probably not come until at least 2020. Finally, Betaseed is working cooperatively with BASF on a “yield gene” project for sugarbeets. This biotech effort is focusing on the development of higher-yielding and drought-tolerant beet varieties, with an anticipated yield boost of around 15% over current varieties. Such varieties will, Wickstrom observed, enhance sugarbeet’s competitiveness with other crops. This project is still in the “proof of concept”

stage, with expected commercialization several years off. ll this work takes time and money — a lot of time and a lot of money. It can easily require a decade or more — and tens of millions of dollars — to take a new biotech trait from conception all the way to a farmer’s field. But the seed companies obviously believe that is where the future lies — not only their own future, but also that of the overall sugarbeet industry. Stay tuned! — Don Lilleboe ❖

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n addition to the ongoing development of Roundup Ready varieties, Betaseed is currently working on four major biotech-centered projects with potential for the North American market, Kurt Wickstrom told the ASGA audience. One is transgenic rhizomania resistance. That takes on a special urgency, given the prospect of the virus overcoming the current resistance from traditional sources. A transgenic approach would provide a different mode of action and complete resistance. An “elite event selection” was made in 2012, Wickstrom noted; but commercialization is still several years away. Betaseed also is developing winter beets. Again, Wickstrom pointed out, a winter beet would be planted in the fall, would have an extended vegetation period, a 20-30% increase in sugar yield, flowering control (no bolters), cold tolerance — and it would allow the beet sugar factories to undertake a longer processing campaign. Like Syngenta, the market introduction of Betaseed’s winter beet is still several years away. The third major biotech focus for Betaseed is in fungal disease control — specifically, Cercospora leafspot.

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‘Take Home’ Messages ASGA Executive Vice President Zeroes in On Trade, Crop Insurance & Biotech in Address to Annual Meeting Attendees uther Markwart focused on “take home” messages in his summary remarks toward the conclusion of this year’s American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting. “What do we tell our growers? What do we do as leaders of this industry?” ASGA’s longtime executive vice president asked the local and regional grower association leaders in attendance. First, he noted, several key points deserve repeated emphasis when visiting either with fellow growers, govern-

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ment decision makers or the public in general: • “This sugar policy has been [operated] at no cost to the taxpayer for 11 years.” • The U.S. sugar industry accounts for 142,000 jobs. • “We generate $20 billion into the economy” per year. • “It provides food security, because 70% of all the foods you buy in the store, off the shelf, have sugar in them. So if you have a sugar supply problem,

you have a food security problem.” • The United States is the world’s largest importer of sugar. • “We have to respond to unfair foreign trade practices.” • And finally, “the one message that is really resonating on Capitol Hill right now is that Europe went through a major reform of its sugar policy. They shut down 84 factories, lost more than 100,000 jobs — and now their prices are higher and they have supply issues. The message is: ‘Don’t do what Europe did. Don’t make the mistakes they made.’ ” Markwart then provided an overview of international trade issues upon which ASGA is focused in 2013. He began with the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose longstanding priorities have included: (1) reducing domestic supports; (3) eliminating export subsidies; and (3) increasing market access, eliminating import tariffs — and, particularly for the least-developed-countries section, “get duty-free, quota-free access to our markets — which would be devastating for us.” There’s not much sugar-related movement going on within WTO at present, Markwart noted. “But we’re watching it. We watch it every year.” The closer focus right now is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP umbrella currently encompasses 11 countries, including Australia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Australia, which annually exports about 4.0 million tons of sugar, is an immediate concern. “In the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, we did not give them any additional access,” Markwart pointed out. “And we do not want any additional access in this market for Australia.” “Regional cummulation” refers to a way for a country like Australia to potentially maneuver around such restrictions. If the U.S. denies any further access, the Australians could, for instance, set up a facility in New Zealand, ship raw or refined sugar into that country — “and maybe blend in some cocoa products and others that cause it then to become an ‘origin of New Zealand,’ ” Markwart stated. Another potential concern with TPP would be countries like Thailand or the Philippines. What happens if their production expands and they seek more access to international markets (e.g., the United States)? “We talk about all the oversupply issues we have in our market today and what that’s doing to price, “ Markwart

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continued. “Well, if you’re ever going to have a problem with depressed price and oversupply, now is the ‘perfect’ time to have it — when you’re trying to pass a farm bill and you can show: ‘Look, we need a safety net. Things today aren’t like they were three or four years ago. And [that safety net] has to be adequate enough for us to sustain our production. “So the message to both farm policy and our trade negotiators is: this market can’t take more sugar.� arkwart’s update on sugarbeet crop insurance reflected significant progress in that arena. He noted that stage removal is now complete, which is very good news. Regarding replant coverage, the previous formula (1.5 x price election) now has been changed to a fixed amount ($80 per acre) for the 2013 crop. The prior formula was fine as long as price election and prices were strong. But what happens in a situation like the current one, where prices are down — but input costs obviously will not be? “It needed to get fixed to protect you in years to come,� the ASGA leader told growers. “We do have the ability, in future years, to show that the number needs to be higher than what it is now,� he added.

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The field pile (clamp) pilot project — utilized in Michigan and southern Minnesota — is now covered for the entire insurance period (through mid-November), Markwart reported. Also, if other beet-growing areas wish to begin utilizing field clamps, “that pilot can be expanded.� The news in price election also is very positive. “Every year, [when] we were going into the increase in sugar prices, USDA was always lagging Luther Markwart behind in terms of having price elections that reflected what was going on in the marketplace,� Markwart noted. Input from John Doxsie, president of United Sugars Corporation, helped USDA’s Risk Management Agency to update those elections based on current market realities. As a result, estimated additional guarantees are $43.00 per ton for the 2009 year, $43.75 for 2010, $47.50 for 2011 and $59.85 for 2012. “For 2013, they’ve dropped a little bit (to $58.95 a

ton),� Markwart said. “That’s only a 90cent reduction; and in this market, I think that’s pretty good.� The ASGA executive vice president’s final discussion area centered on biotechnology — specifically the long and circuitous legal route for Roundup ReadyŽ sugarbeets. “�We’ve been through five years of litigation; we had four cases, three appeals, three courts and six different judges looking at the issues,� he observed. “We also had an 800-page Environmental Impact Statement.� While deregulation of Roundup Ready beets has occurred and growers continue having full access to these transgenic varieties, that does not mean the matter has been relegated to the history books, Markwart emphasized. “Now we need to continue to focus on stewardship: weed resistance and bolter destruction,� he affirmed. “We also have to oppose restrictions on planting the seed crop in Oregon.� Prospective labeling ballot initiatives in states like Washington are on ASGA’s radar screen as well. “�I am going to do everything I can to make sure they never take this technology away from us,� Markwart concluded. �

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Dateline: Washington ow well do you remember 1985? Twenty eight years ago, the average price for a gallon of gasoline was $1.20, a movie ticket was $2.75, a stamp cost 22 cents, and a car cost $9,000. Microsoft introduced Windows 1.0 that year, President Reagan first met Mikhail Gorbachev (Soviet Union), the first mobile phone call in England was made, Christa McAuliffe was chosen to be the first teacher to fly on the space shuttle Challenger, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was born, and the hit movie was “Back to the Future.” In 1985, the average raw cane sugar price was 20.34 cents per pound (same as it is today); the Midwest wholesale price of refined beet sugar was 23 cents a pound (28-30 cents today); and the retail price was 35 cents a pound (68 cents today). On Valentine’s Day this year, the Coalition for Sugar Reform and their congressional champions unveiled their “Sugar Reform Act” for the 2013 farm bill. The essence of the bill is to take beet and cane growers back to loan levels that were established in 1985. Buying inputs to run your business at prices that existed 28 years ago would certainly boost your short-term bottom line — but it would drive your suppliers out of business. Since 1985, we have closed half of our beet and cane factories and mills because sugar prices were stagnated around the loan rate and input cost kept increasing. Thirdparty investors abandoned the industry and sold the companies to growers — who in turn have em-

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braced every possible efficiency they could find and afford just to stay in business. The sugar reform bills — HR 693 in the House and S. 345 in the Senate — would make numerous changes to current sugar policy, with the sole intent to assure that the sugar market is oversupplied all of the time. It adds more risk to import decisions that would oversupply the market, requires producers to hold even larger surplus inventories, puts foreign suppliers ahead of American farmers, and effectively eliminates any surplus sugar to be used for ethanol production as a way to balance the market. Except for the loan rate, the secretary of agriculture could change any provisions of the policy, taking into account the interests of consumers, workers in the food industry, user businesses and the relative competitiveness of domestically-produced and imported foods containing sugar (dumped by subsidized foreign producers). This proposal neither respects nor appreciates the work, risk and investment made by our farmers to deliver a superior product to their

The sugar reform bills would make numerous changes to current sugar policy, with the sole intent to assure that the sugar market is oversupplied all of the time.

By Luther Markwart Executive Vice President American Sugarbeet Growers Assn. door whenever they want it. It provides little certainty in order to plan and invest in the future Our opponents will peddle their reform proposal on Capitol Hill and to the media as a “modest change” that doesn’t repeal price supports, or marketing allotments, or import quotas. It is the job of our industry leaders and congressional champions to tell the truth about the need of our current policy for the food security for our nation. Your grower leaders will be delivering that message far and wide on Capitol Hill in February and March before the planting season begins. Support them and show your appreciation to them in every way you can as they go about your telling your story to our nation’s policy makers. he farm bill schedule for 2013 has not and will not be firmed up until we get past the numerous battles over spending cuts during the next several weeks or even longer. At this point, lawmakers have resigned themselves to the view that across-the-board spending cuts (sequestration) will occur. Everyone agrees that this is the worst way to cut spending; but given the polarized political entrenchment, we end up with a form of impromptu government leadership: “just make it up as you go along, from one crisis to another.” All of agriculture has to play a strong defense during this period to avoid the pillaging of its policies to pay for the cost of other government programs. ❖

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Test Stand Schedule, Part II — Advertisers — We offer you comprehensive coverage among growers in every North American sugarbeet production area!

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he second half of the 2013 North Dakota State University planter test stand schedule is provided at right. Any Upper Midwest sugarbeet growers wishing to have their individual beet planter units checked out for wear and other potential problems are encouraged to contact their sugar company agriculturist or the host site to make an appointment. The entire 2013 test stand schedule was printed in the February issue of The Sugarbeet Grower. There have been a few changes since then, and they are incorporated into this month’s updated listing.

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Test Stand Clinic Sites March 15 — • JD Equipment, Grafton March 18 & 19 — • Evergreen Implement, Warren • Ada/Halstad Elevator, Agronomy March 20 — • Betaseed Research, Moorhead

March 21 — • Betaseed Research, Moorhead • RDO Equipment, Casselton • Steve Williams Shop, Fisher March 22 — • Steve Williams Shop, Fisher March 25 — • Kittson County Implement, Kennedy March 26 — • Kittson Cty. Implement, Kennedy • Syngenta/Hilleshog, Glyndon March 27 — • Syngenta/Hilleshog, Glyndon • Steve Adams Shop, East Grand Forks March 28 — • Steve Adams Shop, E. Grand Forks • SES Vanderhave Shop, Fargo April 2 — • Cavalier Equipment, Cavalier • Oppegard Equipment, Hillsboro April 3 — • Crystal Seed Plant, Moorhead • Oppegard Equipment, Hillsboro April 4 & 5 — • Crystal Seed Plant, Moorhead ❖

THE SUGARBEET GROWER (Upper Midwest) March 2013


Valent’s ‘Rizolex’ Approved by EPA alent U.S.A. Corporation has announced that its Rizolex™ fungicide has been registered by EPA for use as a seed protectant on sugarbeets, soybeans, cotton, sorghum and corn. When applied to seed as a foundational fungicide, Rizolex protects against a broad spectrum of soil-borne and seed/seedling diseases, including Rhizoctonia damping-off and Fusarium. “The Rizolex mode of action is in a class by itself. Our research has shown Rizolex provides unparalleled protection against some of the toughest earlyseason and yield-robbing diseases — helping growers get that important start to the season so they can finish strong,” says Karen Arthur, Valent seed protection product development manager. “Rizolex has also shown exceptional control when partnered with several of our additional seed protectants, both in-development compounds and our NipsIt™ SUITE family of products. We believe Rizolex has a strong future in providing growers the Rhizoctonia and Fusarium control they need as part of their seed protection and disease control strategy.” ❖

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THE SUGARBEET GROWER (Upper Midwest) March 2013

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Tumultuous Time for U.S. Sugar Producers — Past Year Brought Big Crops But Also Significant Price Declines — By Jack Roney*

ELIMINATING

t has been a tumultuous time for American sugarbeet and sugarcane growers, both for the market and for sugar policy. During the past year we have gone from strong prices to menacing oversupply and a price collapse. We have also gone from having a five-year farm bill nearly complete in 2012, to having to start over from scratch in 2013.

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Before going into more detail, let’s briefly review the nature of the U.S. sugar industry. We are one of a very few countries to have large, efficient beet and cane industries. We grow beets in 11 states, mostly northern tier, and cane in four southern states: Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana and Texas. We are the world’s fifth largest sugar producer; a little more than half our sugar production is from beets. Our industry generates 142,000 jobs and nearly $20 billion in annual economic activity. We are proud of the fact that LMC International’s rankings for 2010/11 placed the U.S. as 20th lowest cost of the 95 sugar-producing countries or regions they studied, with our beet industry the lowest cost of all beet producers. Since we face some of the world’s highest, and costliest, government standards for protecting workers, consumers and the environment, our achievement is all the more impressive in a sugar world dominated by developing countries. We’ve been through wrenching consolidation, brought about by years of low market prices and rising input costs. Since 1985, more than half of our beet or cane processing operations have closed, 54 in all. During this period, all the surviving beet processing operations have been purchased cooperatively by their growers. (Con’t)

* Jack Roney is director of economics and policy analysis for the American Sugar Alliance (ASA). This article appeared in a recent issue of ‘The Sugar Beat,’ a newsletter of ASA. The article’s original audience was a trade publication for German sugarbeet producers.

THE SUGARBEET GROWER (Upper Midwest) March 2013


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Had it not been for this grower investment, all these beet factories likely would have closed. We are also proud of U.S. sugar policy, which has operated at zero cost to

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THE SUGARBEET GROWER (Upper Midwest) March 2013


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more difficult times in the future. The future came quickly. With the blessing (the curse?) of widespread good weather, we have the coincidence in 2012/13 of excellent crops of American sugarbeets and sugarcane and of Mexican sugarcane. U.S. prices have plummeted by 50%, to 30 cents a pound, or less. As we face a return to oversupply, American producers face the possibility of government-imposed limitations on how much sugar they can market. We are hoping the amount of sugar that Mexico exports to the United States is not excessive. Our imports from Mexico historically had been minimal, but since free trade began in 2008 have soared to as high as 1.5 million metric tons. Our producers note that the largest sugar producer and exporter in Mexico is the Mexican government, which owns and operates about one-fifth of Mexican mills. But, these are the rules of trade, and we must live with them.

U.S. Sugar Policy The U.S. Congress writes omnibus agricultural policy laws, the so-called farm bill, approximately every five years. In 2012, after much hard work

by our industry and others, the U.S. Senate passed a five-year Bill that, as we had hoped, left U.S. sugar policy virtually unchanged. In the House of Representatives, the Agriculture Committee passed a favorable farm bill — but it was never taken up on the House floor for final passage. Instead, Congress passed a simple one-year extension of the old farm bill. Sadly, we have had to begin anew in 2013. As in 2012, we face assaults from the food manufacturers, who would like to reduce or eliminate U.S. sugar policy to enhance their access to subsidized world dump market sugar. The sweetener users claim consumers would benefit, in the form of lower retail sugar and sweetened-product prices. We counter the food manufacturers’ rhetoric with facts such as these: • The gap between U.S. and world raw and refined sugar prices is now virtually non-existent. • While producer prices for sugar have dropped nearly in half the past two years, retail prices for sugar and sweetened products have gone up, not down. Consumers, in fact, see no benefit when producer prices for sugar fall. The savings on sugar go instead to increased profits for food manufacturers.

We also are reminding Congress of the harsh consequences of European Union sugar policy “reform” in 2006, i.e., more than 80 mill closures and 120,000 jobs lost, according to EU sources. U.S. legislators should be loath to emulate such an outcome. Likewise, we are reminding our legislators that American consumers would not wish to emulate EU consumers’ growing dependence on a volatile world sugar market that is grossly distorted by subsidies in megaproducer Brazil and other sugar-exporting countries.

Conclusion The costs associated with producing and marketing sugar have increased enormously in the United States over the past three decades; but, with the exception of 2010 and 2011, sugar prices have not. American producers remain under enormous pressure to innovate, reduce costs and further improve efficiency. In the meantime, we are working hard to ensure that the U.S. farm legislation continues to provide some economic safety net for American sugar farmers, and some buffer to the unfair threat of subsidized foreign sugar. ❖

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30 Years Ago

Excerpts from the March 1983 Issue of The Sugarbeet Grower

beets. In addition, the team has observed the phytoalexTransplanted Sugarbeets . . . — “Nobody had to ins that beets produce to protect themselves against inworry about whether 30 rows of sugarbeets would come fections. . . . up at the University of Idaho’s Agricultural Research and “ ‘Perhaps one way to increase disease resistance Extension Center this spring. They were already up would be to measure the number and amount of these when they were transplanted into the ground. phytoalexins, or “warding off” compounds, and incorpo“The transplanted sugarbeets, developed by David Allen, a progressive Nampa-area beet grower, are being rate them into commercially valuable varieties,’ says Susan S. Martin, plant physiologist with USDA’s Agricultested this year at the UI’s College of Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Kimberly against a ditural Research Service, Fort Collins, Colo. rect-seeded crop planted alongside them. “In previous research, Martin discovered that the Cer“ ‘I believe this is the way of the future, and if you’re cospora leaf spot fungus remains in intercellular areas of going to do this, the university has to have the data,’ said beet leaves rather than actually entering individual cells. Allen. For many years before Martin examined the fungus with “Last year, Allen transplanted about 200 acres of sugan electron microscope, scientists had believed that the arbeets and compared them with 60 acres of beets he Cercospora fungus, like most other fungi, actually enplanted in the standard way. He figured that the transtered individual cells to create the characplants would pay for their additional $75-an-acre cost teristic leaf spots.” if they yielded an extra 4 tons per acre. What he got was twice that much Outlook for World Sugar Market — 36 tons per acre for the transCalled ‘thoroughly depressing’ — plants compared with 28.8 tons for “The outlook for the world sugar market the direct-seeded beets. is ‘thoroughly depressing’ and will re“Allen said the Japanese, who main so until the large stocks overpioneered transplanted sugarbeets hanging the market are reduced, 20 years ago, have more than douaccording to London sugar analyst bled their yields with the technique Simon Harris. “Speaking at the second European and that 95 percent of that country’s Agricultural Outlook Conference in sugarbeets are now being transplanted. UI College of Agriculture London, Harris said the stocks overstaff transplanted beets in Canyon hang will exist for several years if a County test plots for three years durnew International Sugar Agreement ing the late 1960s, but the technique, cannot be successfully negotiated. ahead of its time, was not adopted. He said attainment of a new agree“According to John Gallian, UI Colment is still some distance away. lege of Agriculture Cooperative Exten“He said the current market . ia n sion Service sugarbeet specialist at Twin situation, with world prices conr fo li Ca eets in Falls, growers have shown considerable sidered below production costs, has to b g n ti Plan be improved before a new agreement can be interest in transplanted sugarbeets since A b ove: Allen first demonstrated the process last launched. The main hindrance is the current high level year . . . of world stocks. The latest estimate for 1982-83 world “The beets Allen and Gallian transplanted onto the stocks is 38 million tons or 41 percent of consumption, Kimberly R&D Center April 23 were sown in Allen’s against an optimum level of 25 percent.” Nampa greenhouse February 28 and March 15. The seed was planted into soil-filled paper tubes about ½-inch Doney Theory Holds Promise — “Progress in the wide and 5-½ inches long. After the beets emerged, they development of new, superior sugarbeet varieties could be were ‘hardened’ by canvas dragged across them The temdramatically accelerated if a new theory now being tested by U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers perature in the greenhouse was gradually lowered, increasing the beets’ resistance to frost damage.” holds true. “The new theory proposes that genetic differences can be magnified for swifter, easier selection if stress, related Breeders Study Plant Chemicals — “Examining to vigor not resistance, is imposed on an organism. the amount of chemicals that individual plants produce Devon L. Doney, a plant geneticist with USDA’s Agriculto defend themselves against fungus diseases might protural Research Service, Logan, (Utah) conceived this thevide plant breeders with a mechanism to increase disease ory. . . . resistance. “If his theory holds up, Doney believes that past “An interdisciplinary team of scientists has been progress made over a period of 10 to 15 years could, in closely following the nature of Cercospora leaf spot disthe future, be realized in only 5 to 7 years. He emphaease in sugarbeets. The team has observed two toxins sizes that the theory applies only to plant vigor.” ❖ that the Cercospora fungus produces when it infects

THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013

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We had a little talk about New clothes the other day. I guess we are still married, That’s the best that I can say. It seems we feel quite different About fashion cost and style. The discussion was the wildest one We’ve had in quite a while.

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All the folks who know me Know my feelings about a tie. A man should only wear one When you marry and you die.

By David Kragnes

The rest of life there in between I want to be in jeans. I’m not being disrespectful; That’s not what it means. If others choose a suit and tie To wear most every day, I guess that should be just fine; It’s not for me to say.

Fashion Dunce sual.” I lean toward the casual side; but t this time of year, I must attend a goodly number of meetings. Several while packing for the last trip my wife felt it was of them are in nice, warm places where TGSTnBedder4.75x5BWFINAL.pdf 1 12/17/12 11:59time AM to make a few suggestions about upgrading my wardrobe. the dress code is listed as “business ca-

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It’s just that I quite prefer More room around my neck. Clothes a little broken in Are the kind that I respect. Just as my clothes start to fit There seems to be some doubt. I think they’re getting comfortable; My wife thinks they’re worn out. A little patch don’t bother me — Or even two or three, As long as from the outside There’s no skin that you can see. Reduce, reuse, recycle, That’s the fashion statement I like More and more each time I shop And prices take a hike. My wife and both my daughters Think I’m really quite a mess. Did I get dressed up in the dark, Or did I only guess?

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At which patterns and which colors Should be worn all at once. I guess you could safely say I’m just a fashion dunce.

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WSC Growers Liking ‘Ultra’ Test Stands

Photo: John Smith

Units Improve Ease & Accuracy of Calibration

ack in 2004, University of Nebraska-Scottsbluff agricultural engineer John Smith and his colleagues added an extra dimension to the UN electronic planter test stand program. The new feature consisted of an “electronic photogate” and corresponding software that provided growers with graphic printouts of their planter units’ seed drop accuracy on a side-toside basis as well as the standard front-to-back distance spacing. The photogate was a supplement to — not a replacement for — the standard grease belt method. But while the grower and test stand operator still viewed the seeds as they dropped onto the grease belt, the resulting seed spacing histogram was a more-accurate reflection of overall planter unit performance. As innovative as that development was nine years ago, it’s now “history” in the Western Sugar Cooperative (WSC) growing region. In 2009, Smith

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Above: This photo shows the University of Nebraska-Scottsbluff’s Ultra test stand set up with the CaseIH planter meter and seed tube. Also shown are the Ultra’s printer, display screen and control panel. (who has since retired from the university) procured a MeterMax® Ultra test stand manufactured by Illinois-based Precision Planting, Inc. The Ultra is able to calibrate meters for virtually any of the planter models used by the region’s beet growers (e.g., John Deere MaxEmerge, John Deere 71 Flex John Smith [with an adapter developed by Smith], Case IH, Kinze, Monosem, White, Great Plains). That same year, Western Sugar agriculturists ran the

Ultra side by side with the computerized grease belt for comparison. The complete transition away from the grease belt happened quickly. “In 2010 we used the Ultra solely,” says Terry Butcher, Scottsbluff-based WSC senior agriculturist. “That worked OK; but we soon realized we couldn’t get all the planter meters tested with just one test stand.” So for 2011 the Western Sugar Cooperative-Grower Joint Research Committee invested in three Ultra test stands in order to adequately cover the region’s needs. One of the Ultras is used exclusively in the northern growing area (Lovell, Wyo., and Billings, Mont., factory districts). The other two — working together — cover western Nebraska and northeastern Colorado. Response from the region’s sugarbeet producers has been enthusiastic. “In most of our areas, we will have around 90% participation by our growers,” Butcher reports. He estimates that about half of the growers also bring in seed tubes to be tested for wear and performance. Nick Lapaseotes is a grower and farm implement dealer (21st Century Equipment) from Bridgeport, Neb. He also is the new chairman of Western Sugar Cooperative. “As a partner in 21st Century Equipment, we have been involved since when they bought the first [Ultra],” Lapaseotes notes. “The stands are set up at some of our dealership locations, and we have parts on hand so they can replace what is needed on site. Also, as a grower, I used it the first year and have since.” Lapaseotes is a strong proponent of every seed meter — and at least some seed tubes — being tested with the MeterMax Ultra. “Since we began doing this, I have seen our planters work a lot better — from improved seed placement to vacuum psi being more consistent,” he says. “We have seen our seed units test at the ‘high 90s%’ accuracy level. I’ve also taken new seed units when we trade planters and [have been] surprised how a knockout wheel or a new gasket doesn’t seal right. “I wouldn’t put a planter in the field in the spring without testing the seed units and seed tubes.” n comparing the grease-belt method with the Ultra, John Smith lists several benefits to the Precision Planting unit: • It is much smaller and easier to transport between locations. • Set-up is quick (15 minutes or so,

I

THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013


compared to about a half hour with the grease belt); also, there’s no oil on hands, clothes or the floor. • The Ultra provides numerical results rather than a subjective “OK” or “not OK” visual evaluation. • Growers can take home a performance printout, if desired. • The Ultra provides numerical information on skips, multiples and accuracy of seed spacing of “good” spacings, as well as a visual histogram of all seed spacings within a given run. • And finally, it’s very accurate. Terry Butcher adds a couple more: “It’s not necessary to bring the seed hoppers in (all you need is the meter): and, lastly but just as important, is the ability of the Ultra to measure the torque needed to turn the meter.” “I think it is reasonable to estimate, in general, that accurate plant spacing resulting from accurate planter performance contributes one ton per acre of harvested yield,” Smith observes. “Good plant spacing does not

Photo: Terry Butcher

Right: Western Sugar Cooperative agriculturists Terry Butcher (left) and Carl Lux calibrate a grower’s planter meter with one of the co-op’s Ultra test stands.

just ‘happen.’ The planter test stand clinics that WSC — and other sugarbeet cooperatives — have conducted over the years have contributed highly to this outcome. The Ultra just makes this task easier, faster and more accu-

rate, to keep up with the faster and more-accurate planters we have today — and to provide the best match of seed configuration, plate options, vacuum options, singulator adjustment options, etc.” — Don Lilleboe ❖

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Left: ASSBT members pause for a photo during their biennial meeting in 1948.

he need for a formal organization to facilitate communication among diverse facets of the beet sugar industry was recognized by participants in an informal group known as “The Sugar Beet Roundtable.” T. G. Stewart, extension agronomist with Colorado State College of Agriculture (now Colorado State University), is credited with organizing the first Roundtable meeting at Fort Collins, Colo., in 1935. After the second meeting in 1936, researchers from California were invited to join the 1937 discussions. The process of creating a more-structured national organization that would bring together the various facets of the industry culminated on January 7 during the closing session of the 1937 meeting. At least 24 groups, including processing companies, seed companies, state universities, the U.S Department of Agriculture and sugarbeet grower associations from across the United States and Canada, were represented at the 1937 Roundtable. A. W. Skuderna of American Crystal Sugar Co. (Rocky Ford, Colo.) was elected the first president, while N.R. McCreery of the Great Western Sugar Company (Denver, Colo.) was elected vice president, and H.E. Brewbaker (with USDA, Fort Collins), secretary-treasurer. A committee was assigned the task of drafting a constitution and bylaws for discussion at the first session of the 1938 meeting. The participation of representatives of the Canadian sugar industry in the 1937 Roundtable discussions was likely instrumental in the Society becoming

T

ASSBT Marks 75th Year By Larry Campbell & Allan Cattanach Editor’s Note: The American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (ASSBT) held its 37th biennial meeting in Anaheim, Calif., from February 27 to March 2. During that meeting, ASSBT paused to celebrate its 75th anniversary as an organization. To help recognize this milestone, two longtime ASSBT members — Larry Campbell and Allan Cattanach — com-

piled a history of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists. Campbell is sugarbeet research geneticist with USDA-ARS at Fargo, N.D. Cattanach, who is American Crystal Sugar Company’s general agronomist, wrapped up a two-year term as ASSBT president at the Anaheim meeting. A modestly edited version of that history is provided here. AUTHORIZED DEALER OF

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the “American Society” with the inclusion of Canadians as full participants in the organization since its inception. The American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (ASSBT) was officially created on January 13, 1938, in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the adoption of a constitution and bylaws; membership dues were set at $1.00. Sixty-four papers, including one presented by a Danish researcher, were presented at the 1938 meeting. Discussions at the Roundtable meetings were limited to breeding, agronomy or other phases of production research. However, ASSBT has included chemists and factory technologists as full participants since its beginning. According to the original constitution, “The objective of this society shall be to foster all phases of sugar beet and beet sugar research, and act as a clearing house for the exchange of ideas resulting from such work.” The wording of the current mission statement has changed slightly, but remains primarily focused upon the original objectives. The interchange of ideas through the Society is credited with breaking down many barriers between companies and leading to a free discussion of mutual problems. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of ASSBT in 1987, President Donald Oldemeyer contended that the value of ASSBT in fostering cooperation among federal, state and private researchers — which, in turn, contributes to the cohesiveness and survival of the industry — could not be overemphasized. ASSBT has fostered exchanges not only among its North American members, but also has facilitated communication with colleagues in Europe. As early as 1940, the membership rolls included three European researchers. Furthermore, a notification of the ASSBT meeting and greetings were sent via cablegram to the IIRB (International Institute for Beet Research) in Brussels, Belgium, during the inaugural ASSBT meeting in 1938. The regular attendance of IIRB representatives at ASSBT meetings since then is evidence of an enduring productive relationship between IIRB and ASSBT. Between 37 and 140 sugarbeet researchers participated in the 1935 to 1937 Roundtable discussions that preceded the formation of ASSBT. Two years after the formation of ASSBT, the organization had 256 members. Membership had increased to 354 on the 10th anniversary of the formation of ASSBT, and regional meetings were held in Detroit, Mich., and Salt Lake City. By its 25th anniversary, ASSBT

THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013

had 633 members representing 35 state and 20 countries, and the Society’s journal was distributed to 59 countries. Membership had dropped to 550 by ASSBT’s 50th anniversary and is currently about 300 as it celebrates its 75th anniversary. ormal communication among ASSBT members occurs via oral and poster presentations at biennial meetings, published proceedings of the meetings, articles relevant to the industry in a peer-reviewed journal, and via

F

online websites that allow unrestricted access to all society publications. Midwinter biennial meetings were held in or near sugarbeet production areas prior to 1968. But having to endure temperatures that never exceeded 0° F during the 1966 meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., prompted the scheduling of future meetings at warmer, more-southern sites, according to anecdotes. There was no meeting in 1944 because of war-time restrictions, and the meeting scheduled for 1980 was delayed until the winter of 1981 because

19


of severe economic problems in the industry. All other meetings have occurred at two-year intervals. The only biennial meeting convened outside the borders of the U.S. was the 31st gathering, held in Vancouver, B.C., in 2001. Prior to 1956, all research reports were published as proceedings of the biennial meetings. With the exception of 1944, from 1942 to 1954 the proceedings were compiled in book form. After its launch in 1956, the Journal of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists (JASSBT) became the principal ASSBT publication for distribution of research results. JASSBT was renamed the Journal of Sugar Beet Research (JSBR) in 1988. James Fischer edited the JASSBT for many years in conjunction with his responsibilities as secretary-treasurer of ASSBT. Susan Martin replaced Fischer as editor; and since then, three members have served as Journal editors â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Alan Dexter, Larry Campbell and Lee Panella â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with the assistance of many associate editors and expert reviewers. It is in the spirit of the founders that the publications of the ASSBT are now accessible without charge to the general public on recently established websites. These sites provide access to all issues of JASSBT and JSBR (assbtjsbr.org), and the proceedings of the first (1938) to the 36th (2011) biennial meetings (assbt-proceedings.org). Since 1993, abstracts of papers presented at the biennial meetings have been published in JSBR. The sites allow users to search by topic or author. This enhancement of communication

among sugarbeet researchers worldwide will, in turn, complement a longtime objective of ASSBT, i.e., â&#x20AC;&#x153;producing more sugar per acre at decreased cost.â&#x20AC;? ASSBT has established four award categories to recognize members whose contributions to the industry and/or the Society are substantial. The Forty-Year Veteran Award recognizes any individual, member or nonmember whose service has benefited the industry for 40 years. The Meritorious Service Award acknowledges members â&#x20AC;&#x153;who have been outstanding in promoting the objectives of the Society, or have made significant contributions to the beet sugar inJames Fischer dustry.â&#x20AC;? Those elected to Honorary Membership â&#x20AC;&#x153;have rendered outstanding service to the beet sugar industry or have by virtue of scientific accomplishment acquired the admiration and respect of this Society.â&#x20AC;? The most prestigious award the Society offers is the Savitsky Memorial Award named in honor of Viacheslav and Helen Savitsky. The Savitsky Award recognizes those who â&#x20AC;&#x153;have excelled in either scientific advancement in the field of sugar technology, or service and dedication to the sugar industry.â&#x20AC;? Only seven individuals have received the Savitsky Memorial Award: Richard A. McGinnis in 1991, James H. Fischer in 1995, James E. Duffus in 2001, Marius Christian G. Middelburg

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in 2003, Alan G. Dexter in 2007 and Alvin W. Erichsen and Robert T. Lewellen in 2009. SSBT shares many common objectives with â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and has benefited from â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a close association with the Beet Sugar Development Foundation (BSDF). BSDF was chartered under the laws of Colorado in July 1945. At that time, it was primarily concerned with mechanizing sugarbeet production. BSDF membership consists of sugarbeet processing companies and seed companies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The BSDF is dedicated to the advancement of sugarbeet production and beet sugar processing through science-based research and leading educational programs.â&#x20AC;? BSDF financed publication of the proceedings of the 1946 ASSBT meeting and has since provided supplemental funding for many of the research projects managed by members of ASSBT, and others. James H. Fischer was the first paid secretary-treasurer of BSDF, originally hired on a part-time basis in January 1947 while an engineering student â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and on a full-time basis in 1948. Fischer held the position for 40 years. Beginning in 1952, he also served jointly as secretary-treasurer of ASSBT and was a major force behind the 1956 launch of the Journal of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists. Stephen Reynolds was hired in 1986, initially to work with Fischer and then assume full responsibilities upon Fischerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s retirement in 1987. Reynolds served as secretary-treasurer until his departure in 1988. Thomas Schwartz was hired to replace Reynolds in September 1988 and has promoted the objectives of and guided BSDF and ASSBT since then. Schwartzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s title was changed to â&#x20AC;&#x153;executive vice presidentâ&#x20AC;? to more accurately reflect the executive duties of the office. Schwartz was instrumental in updating the Journal Tom Schwartz format, including changing its name and logo in 1988 and, more recently, the establishment of the Journalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s online presence.

A

istory documents the fact that the beet sugar industry has faced many challenges â&#x20AC;&#x201D; some from natural sources, others from public policy decisions and perceived health concerns. Protected by a 1.685-cent-per-pound tariff, the U.S. sugar industry flour-

H

THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013


Harvesters - 1946

John Deere

International

Scott - Urschel

Marbeet Junior

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ished in the 10-year period following 1896. The pending elimination of the tariff probably would have been a deathblow to the industry had it not been for the increase in domestic food production prompted by World War I. During World War II, a similar need for a reliable domestic sugar supply benefited the industry. Immigration policy limiting the availability of Mexican nationals was cited as a problem that would complicate weed control in sugarbeet fields in the presidential address at the 1964 ASSBT biennial meeting. While government policies affect the well-being of the industry and may impact the resources available for research and the nature of the research conducted, ASSBT, as a society, is not directly involved in molding policy. Although specific research objectives change over the years, ASSBT and its members always have focused on increasing productivity, reducing costs and adapting new technology to old problems. A priority topic at the 1940 meeting was the standardization of experimental methods. Mechanization of all facets of production — but particularly harvesting — was emphasized during ASSBT’s first 10 years. Disease, insect and weed control issues have changed over time; but they remain a constant threat to production.

Above: Harvesters circa 1946. The mechanization of beet production was emphasized during ASSBT’s first decade. Fertilizer management, tillage options, seedling emergence and other management practices have been frequent topics at ASSBT meetings and continually require refinement as new equipment, varieties and knowledge become available. Postharvest storage losses have been recognized by ASSBT as a problem at least since 1946. Improving sucrose extraction rates and efficiencies of factories has been and continues to be a high priority. Public policy decisions that will affect profitability remain unpredictable. Diseases and insect pests are occurring with increased intensity in some areas and show no sign of diminishing. The optimization of precision agriculture technologies to specific environments will enhance production efficiency. Remaining competitive in a global economy will require the continuation of the productive cooperation between industry and public research institutions that has been facilitated for the past 75 years by ASSBT. ASSBT will remain a strong, effective, vehicle for this cooperation as long as it keeps the vision of its founders — and those who have followed — as its mission. ❖

THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013


Around The Industry Lapaseotes New Chairman of Western Sugar Cooperative Nick Lapaseotes was elected chairman of the Western Sugar Cooperative Board of Directors in January. The Bridgeport, Neb., grower succeeded Kevin Hall, also of Bridgeport, who had served in that capacity since 2003. Ric Rodriguez of Powell, Wyo., remains as WSC’s vice chairman. Lapaseotes, who Nick Lapaseotes has been a WSC board member since January 2011, was on the board of the Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association from 2001 to 2011 and served as that group’s president from 2003 to 2011. He and his brother, Pete, are third-generation farmers, producing sugarbeets, corn, wheat and al-

falfa, along with operating a cow-calf operation and feedlot. The Lapaseotes brothers are partners in 21st Century Equipment, which operates several farm implement dealerships in the region. They also are shareholders in Dinklage Feedyards, a commercial cattle feeding operation in eastern Wyoming, western Nebraska and northeastern Colorado. Lapaseotes and his wife, Angie, have two children, Alexa and Nicholas, both of whom are attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

tails coming this spring. Traditionally, about 400 individuals from various segments of both the beet and cane sugar industries attend the International Sweetener Symposium to learn about timely issues of significance affecting the sweetener industry and to interact with industry colleagues. ❖

30th International Sweetener Symposium Set for Aug. 2-7 The 30th International Sweetener Symposium, hosted by the American Sugar Alliance, is scheduled for August 2-7 at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. Preliminary information is available on the ASA website — www.sugaralliance.org — with more de-

It’s the 51st

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— 2013 ISBI Speakers — Wednesday Afternoon —

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Get Updated on the Latest Developments in Beet Production! THE SUGARBEET GROWER March 2013

Luther Markwart / Exec. Vice President, ASGA

Thursday Morning —

‘The Sugarbeet Industry Five Years From Now’ Howard Dahl / President, Amity Technology

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The Sugarbeet Grower Magazine March 2013  

Homemade Stingers, Sidedressing Study, Montana Strip Tillers, Idea Contest Memories, Our Regular Pages

The Sugarbeet Grower Magazine March 2013  

Homemade Stingers, Sidedressing Study, Montana Strip Tillers, Idea Contest Memories, Our Regular Pages