Saginaw Prairie Sugarbeet Growers Concerned With Busted Dams

Saginaw Prairie Sugarbeet Growers Concerned With Busted Dams

Emerged sugarbeet near Reese, Mich. | Photo: Betaseed Twitter
Emerged sugarbeet near Reese, Mich. | Photo: Betaseed Twitter

The Michigan Ag Today Sugarbeet Planting Report is brought to you by Betaseed: where research breeds confidence.

Sugarbeet planting in Michigan is nearing completion. In the USDA’s latest Crop Progress Report, 94 percent of the state’s beets have been planted. By next week, the entire crop could be in the ground.

“Stand counts are anywhere from 100 to 260 sugarbeets in 100 feet rows, averaging 200,” said Rob Gerstenberger, Betaseed sales manager. “We have a really good crop coming.”

He said Wednesday’s dam breeches in Midland are causing a bit of a concern for growers south of Saginaw.

“They’re a little worried about these dams breaking and don’t want to see any more water putting pressure on their dikes,” he said. “If one of the dikes would break, there could be quite a few acres getting flooded.”

As of Monday, 86 percent of Michigan’s sugarbeet crop is rated fair to excellent condition. According to John Dillman, Betaseed regional sales manager, that quality seems to be pretty consistent in other areas of the country.

“The Western sugar market—Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana—the crop is normal for the most part,” said Dillman. “It’s slightly ahead of normal. Replants are probably a little less than normal, which is a good thing.”

With warmer temperatures in the forecast, Gerstenberger said your drive around the Thumb region will be a little bit more colorful.

“The beets are growing with these warmer temperatures and moisture,” he said. “You’ll see nice green rows at 60 miles an hour.”