Home News Michigan Ag News Western Sugarbeet Growers to Have Slightly Above Average Yields in 2021

Western Sugarbeet Growers to Have Slightly Above Average Yields in 2021

Sugarbeets from Getner-Bischer Farms, Michigan. Photo: Ashley Davenport

The Michigan Ag Today Sugarbeet Harvest Report is made possible by Betaseed: where research breeds confidence.

It was a rocky start to the planting season for farmers in the western part of the U.S. But for sugarbeet growers who produce for Western Sugar, Wyoming Sugar and Sydney Sugar are about 80 percent complete.

John Dillman, Betaseed regional sales manager, covers the western part of the country. Precipitation caused a brief pause in digging earlier this month, but much of his area is experiencing abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions.

“Around October 10 and 11, most of the area received some moisture,” he says. “In the Montana area, they had three to five inches of snow which slowed harvest quite a bit, but the conditions were extremely dry and growers greatly appreciated the moisture and it helped with harvesting and kept the crops growing.”

A lack of precipitation over the winter set that region up for these parched conditions that have lasted all year. Dillman says irrigation helped growers get the beets planted and grow, but that could have negative implications next season.

“For the most part, their irrigation water supply was adequate for the year,” he says. “The concern is approximately 30 to 40 percent of the carryover is what we have available for 2022, so we definitely need some snow in the Rocky Mountains, so we have adequate water for next year.”

Dillman says the intermountain region is expected see an average yield of up to 34 tons.

“[That is] going to be average to maybe slightly above,” he says, “There are a couple of regions that the yields are going to be down a little bit closer to the 30-ton range, but yields are coming in good. It must be from the warm summer we had. The end result is going to be a really good sugarbeet crop through the whole intermountain region.”