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Pressing Pause on Sugarbeet Planting, Successful Sugar Campaign

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Sugarbeet planting is expected to resume by the weekend. Before the rain earlier this week, roughly 15 percent of Michigan’s sugarbeet crop was planted. Some areas got a half inch. Rob Gerstenberger, Betaseed sales manager, says that moisture really wasn’t needed.

“The fields were just getting dry enough where it’d be pretty good plantings,” he said. “The beets that were planted around March 15, a little rain was OK for those beets.”

Richville and Reese received about an inch of rain, just as beets were beginning to emerge.

“They’ll be OK,” said Gerstenberger. “They’re just starting to poke through the ground—it’s not going to hurt them. The cool conditions keeps the ground from getting much of a crust, and they’ll come up.”

Since there were so many beets that were planted in March, Gerstenberger says this planting pause won’t be an issue in the long run.

“It’s really no concern—it’s still early,” he said. “There’s plenty of time to get the beets planted and have a very successful crop.”

Michigan Sugar Company will soon be wrapping up their 2019 campaign. Earlier this week, they announced the campaign is complete at the Croswell factory. Compared to our competitors out west, Gerstenberger says Michigan is still ahead in terms of planting and processing.

“Compared to a lot of markets around the country, the Michigan market is going to come out being fairly successful with reasonable payments back to the growers—we’re thankful for that,” he said. “It’s a big relief for the growers. They had a long campaign and it was a struggle, but to know that the crop got processed reasonably well is great news.”

Gerstenberger wants to with everyone a safe and happy Easter.