By Shelby Drye | Ag Manager for Spreckels Sugar
Planting began the first week of September, however, most growers waited to plant due to extremely high temperatures. The first fields planted used hand line sprinklers to help with germination during the high temperatures. Planting went into full effect the second week of September, and shortly after, Hurricane Sergio impacted the north end of the Imperial Valley, bringing heavy rains up to one inch of precipitation causing 1,800 acres of replanting. Planting and replanting were completed during the first week of November. The cool temperatures helped with the progress of beets. There was also excellent weed control, and light pressure from insects. The first root sample taken the first week of December showed an actively growing crop with above-average yield and quality. Samples were taken later in January, February, and March showing an above-average crop. Harvest started on April 1, 2019, with yields and quality above average.
Throughout the campaign, the factory ran very well with little to no problems or down time. We received a couple of rainstorms during harvest, which affected a few pools, but the factory was able to maintain slice through the campaign. Lower temperatures lasted longer into the summertime, contributing to a larger than average crop yield and quality. We finished harvest on August 11, 2019, with a final yield of 48.84 tons per acre, sugar content of 17.08 percent, and purity of 89.21percent. Overall, we had an excellent crop that processed well. We want to thank the sugar beet growers for all their hard work and for delivering clean well-topped beets to the factory.