Record Sugarbeets Could be Around the Corner


While folks in the region are finishing up their wheat harvest, sugarbeet producers are gearing up for theirs.  Northern Ag Network spoke with Western Sugar’s Randall Jobman on Monday morning about the timeline for this year’s harvest.  Randall is the Agricultural Manager for Western Sugar’s North Country region.  He tells us that early harvest operations will begin in Lovell, Wyoming and Billings, Montana on September 7.  The factory operations will begin on September 9.

Randall gave us some insight into this year’s growing season.

He tells us they are expecting an above-average crop around both Billings and Lovell.

Could above-average turn into a record crop?

While the future of genetically modified sugarbeets is in the midst of a court decision and the USDA, the majority of beets in the ground are GMO and are preparing us for great yields.  This is at a time that end users are panicking about the U.S. sugar supply.  In fact, so much so that their pleas on Friday prompted our government to ease import restrictions to help avert a national shortage.

While that early harvest  is just around the corner, the regular harvest will begin on October 2 for longterm storage.  Growers are crossing their fingers for a cool dry period starting September 1 to help with their harvest operations.

And at a time when the harvest is looking positive – the prices are as well.  According to a story from the Wall Street Journal, world prices for raw sugar reached a five-month high on Friday, rising above 20 cents a pound during the day. U.S. domestic sugar prices on Friday were at about 34.13 cents a pound, up 30{4d08edaf359bc2115b18a651716ebd427a137946ddca2143fa23b3ea721061e4} in 12 months.


© Northern Ag Network 2010

Haylie Shipp



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