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Michigan’s 2021 Sugarbeet Harvest in the Homestretch

Sugarbeet harvester. Photo: Rob Gerstenberger

The Michigan Ag Today Sugarbeet Harvest Report is made possible by Betaseed.

With favorable weather back in the forecast, Rob Gerstenberger, Michigan’s Betaseed sales manager, expects sugarbeet harvest to be about 65 percent complete.

“Yields have been fantastic—guys are seeing record yields,” he says. “A fellow texted me Wednesday night—he finished a small field of 20 acres, but it was a 51-ton average.”

After last month’s rainfall, there was a question about sugar content. Gerstenberger says it’s still lagging a bit, but he’s been hearing it’s been around 17 percent out of the field.

“It has improved a little bit as the field conditions have improved, too,” he says. “This week we’ve had some sunny days, a little bit of a breeze, and conditions are drying out which has been a big help for growers.”

While growers are anxious to get out of fields and wrap up harvest, Gerstenberger says that safety can be overshadowed.

“They’re in the middle of this beet harvest or just over halfway, and people are getting tired,” he says. “It’s becoming a long, hard harvest. A good safety reminder is needed. People need to take a breath and be careful out there.”

Looking ahead to next season, Betaseed will have five varieties including CR+ and nematode tolerance. For more information, talk to your local Betaseed salesperson.