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International Sugarbeet Institute annual show on tap March 5-6

2008 Sugarbeet Institute At the 2008 International Sugarbeet Institute show sugar beet farmers can hear a seminar from a group that put Roundup Ready sugar beet seed to the test last season. The show, now in its 46th year, runs March 5 from 9 a.m...

2008 Sugarbeet Institute

At the 2008 International Sugarbeet Institute show sugar beet farmers can hear a seminar from a group that put Roundup Ready sugar beet seed to the test last season.

The show, now in its 46th year, runs March 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

The show's biggest attraction this year will likely be the Roundup Ready sugar beet seed due to its success in other crops such as soybeans. A reduction in the amount of chemicals applied and number of chemical applications has reduced input costs and labor, making it a winner with many soybean farmers.

Panel discussions

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The seminar topic, "Roundup Ready Sugar Beet Production: The 2007 Wyoming Experience" will be presented by three people from Wyoming. The seminar is presented in a panel discussion format and begins at 1 p.m. March 5 and March 6 at 10 a.m.

Sitting on the panel discussion is Chuck Duncan, Senior Agriculturist of Wyoming Sugar Co., John Trent Scheuerman, a sugar beet grower from Jordan Farms of Worland, Wyo., and Doug Ryerson, a Monsanto representative.

"They are going to share their experience; what they did right, what they did wrong, what were the problems, constraints and successes," said Mohamed Khan, chairman of International Sugarbeet Institute.

"Weed control has been time consuming and labor intensive (for sugar beet growers)," said Alan Dexter, NDSU extension agent.

"Right now farmers are mixing four or five herbicides and applying it five to seven times."

Roundup Ready seedSugar beet growers are hoping to use the Roundup Ready seed this year with anticipation of reducing the number and amount of chemical applications. Roundup application is also less time sensitive than other chemicals. Many herbicides are more particular about the growth-stage of the weed during application for optimal weed control, Dexter said.

"This is a great improvement in weed technology for sugar beet growers," Dexter said.

The problem for farmers is that the seed may not be available for planting because of a federal lawsuit. Concern from consumers and environmental groups stems from the seed's bio-engineered technology.

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"The seed is produced, ready to go; we're just waiting for a decision," Dexter said.

While seed is certainly at the forefront of sugar beet grower's minds, exhibits and displays also will be at the show.

"Everybody involved in sugar beet production is at the show, from banks to equipment companies," Kahn said. "Farmers can go to find out what is new and interact with exhibitors."

More than 100,000 square feet will be used for exhibits and displays representing more than $4,000,000 of products and equipment.

"I expect 130 to 135 displays," said Bob Cournia, exhibits coordinator.

"If you're looking for something in production of sugar beets, it's there. Seed, chemical, equipment, information and technical advise; it looks like it's going to be a good show."

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