Home News Michigan Ag News Michigan Sugarbeet Planting Progressing at Swift Pace, Avoiding Weather Woes

Michigan Sugarbeet Planting Progressing at Swift Pace, Avoiding Weather Woes

betaseed websiteAfter a rough couple of years, Michigan’s sugarbeet growers are finally catching a planting break. This is the Michigan Ag Today Sugarbeet Planting Report, brought to you by Betaseed, where research breeds confidence.

Some parts of the state saw snow earlier this week. That precipitation didn’t have much of an impact on progress, says Jim Ruhlman, executive vice president of Michigan Sugar.

“The amount of snow we got was just a flurry here and there—there was really no measurable accumulation,” he said. “It really dampened the ground for a bit, but it wasn’t anything that really set us back a couple days.”

More than 60,000 acres of sugarbeets have been planted so far this season. Of those, between 5,000 and 10,000 have emerged. Ruhlman says temperatures below freezing has burned some of the leaves on the emerged plants.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any noticeable damage—we might lose a few of those smaller plants,” said Ruhlman. “I talked to our guys Thursday, and we feel pretty good about where we are. We feel very fortunate that we’ve got 60,000 acres in the ground. Of those 5,000 to 10,000 acres, I don’t think we’re seeing anything to be worried about at this time.”

Earlier in the week, pockets of the state saw wind gusts of up to 45 miles an hour. Since sugarbeet seed is so small, there’s a concern of the seeds blowing out of the soil. However, there was good news on that front as well.

“In talking with some of the growers in the main band of our growing area, I don’t think the wind did damage,” said Ruhlman. “I think we timed it just right—the wind didn’t do any damage, we avoided frost damage, and we have our fingers crossed.”

With all those acres in the ground, Michigan has made some impressive progress compared to our competitors across the country. As of April 13, there were 60 acres of beets planted in the Red River Valley.

“Amalgamated Sugar by Idaho, Utah, they’re in great shape too, but when you compare us to the Valley or even the Plains, we have a lot to be thankful for,” said Ruhlman

If conditions hold throughout the weekend, a few more thousand acres will be planted by the beginning of the week.