This year, spring rains coupled with lower than normal growing degree days had much to do with the final sugarbeet yields in crop year 2019. Growers planting ahead of spring rains were very successful in establishing exceptional, healthy stands of sugarbeets with the help of natural moisture.
Successive rains delayed other plantings for several weeks. Replanted acres were generally low across the entire growing area. The lack of heat units had negative effects on plant development, resulting in reduced yields in the eastern half of the growing area. Diseases affecting sugarbeet crops were present, but did not take hold and effect yields in a significant way. Harvest kicked off in early September and continued normally until the middle and latter part of October when freezing temperatures stopped harvest for a number of days. Depending on the growing area, growers lost between five and seven harvest days. In the end, average yields were 39.06 tons per acre with a Beet Quality Lab sugar content of 17.68%. Sugarbeet storage, pile management and processing conditions are working as factories continue to extract sugar from stored sugarbeets. – Greg Dean