By Jim Ruhlman | Executive Vice President for Michigan Sugar Company
Roughly 154,000 acres were harvested, yielding just over 44 million tons. Permanent piling began on October 23, under ideal storage conditions. The majority of the crop went into the pile clean and at a near perfect temperature. An early freeze in November made the last 400,000 tons a bit challenging to harvest, but all beets delivered are expected to be processed. Shareholders in Michigan took exceptional care of the crop. Many beets were planted late due to a cold, wet spring and faced an extreme drought period in July and August. Rains finally came in September and October and the crop responded nicely with a company average sugar of 18.1% and a yield of 28.7 tons per acre. Leafspot was held in check. Growers planted seed with better disease packages and remained diligent throughout the growing season with fungicide applications. Our factories are running well from a throughout standpoint and an extraction standpoint. Slice will continue through the end of March.