|Area sugar producers set a record|
|November 21, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Sugar beet tonnage has been increasing in the Valley over the past several years, but 2013 set all records.
Jerry Darnell, area ag manager for Western Sugar, said this year’s crop came in at 29.3 tons per acre. Sugar content was 15. 3 percent and a 1.37 percent SLM.
“We had a few less beets than we did a year ago because we planted fewer acres by design,” Darnell said. “This is a record tonnage for Nebraska and southeast Wyoming. It was just a great growing season.”
Darnell also attributed this year’s success to new varieties of seed and new feed technology. “The producers are planting these new varieties and we’re using different seed treatments that make them resistant to diseases and pests.”
The slicing process should wrap up in the Scottsbluff and Torrington sugar factories by the last week of February. Right after that, the cooperative will begin the contracting process for the 2014 growing season.
“Over the last five years, we’ve seen a steady increase in yields,” Darnell said. “It would be nice if we could break our current record again next year.”