The Michigan Ag Today Sugarbeet Planting Report is brought to you by Betaseed: Where Research Breeds Confidence.
The latest USDA Crop Progress Report shows 77 percent of Michigan’s sugarbeet crop is in the ground. Rob Gerstenberger, Betaseed sales manager, is still on the road delivering seed.
“We should be done,” he said. “This year the weather has been so brutal and it’s really tough to get a stand because of all this cold weather we’re having.”
It’s estimated that roughly 30 percent of the state’s beets have been replanted.
“Growers are still assessing fields and deciding whether they want to leave what they have or if they want to replant again,” said Gerstenberger.
Seed won’t be tough to come by. Gerstenberger is expecting another delivery of seed to the area Saturday morning.
“We’re continuing to bring seed and accommodate the grower’s needs,” he said.
From Friday night into Tuesday, the entire state could see temperatures dip into the mid-30s or lower. Since 37 percent of the crop is emerged, a lot of growers are nervous it could cause more damage. Growers are at the mercy of Mother Nature.
“There’s not much we can do until we take a look and see how the crop looks,” said Gerstenberger. “We’ve got to give them a little bit of time after it does get cold and reassess.”
Soil conditions are pretty dry. If a little more moisture made its way to the Thumb region, it would help the beets if there is a hard freeze.
“That could help alleviate the frost and protect the beets a little bit,” he said. “Dry conditions really worry us.”
There’s still a lot of promise with this year’s beet crop, especially if temperatures warm up.
“There’s a lot of nice-looking sugarbeets coming out of the ground right now, so that’s all we can hope and pray for,” said Gerstenberger. “The crop still has great potential. If we could warm up and get a little timely moisture, we’d be off to the races.”