Dennis and Brian Karg, father-son owners and operators of D & B Karg Farms* near Harbor Beach, Mich., have instituted some big changes in their sugarbeet harvest program during the past several years. Having changed from 30- to 22-inch rows in 2010, two years later they transitioned to a Ropa Tiger eight-row self-propelled harvester (Dozens of their fellow Michigan Sugar Company producers also have gone the self-propelled route.) For the 2015 harvest, they installed a combination rubber-steel defoliation drum on their Ropa —an important step, Brian says, toward eliminating the need for scalpers. Last year’s harvest also found the Kargs utilizing a new 4600 Series Crop Shuttle cart manufactured by Kringstad Ironworks of Park River, N.D. The 46-ton unit, which can unload in about three minutes, usually allows the Kargs to keep up pace with their Ropa harvester with a single cart instead of two.
* The March 2016 issue of The Sugar-beet Grower carried an article titled "Cutting Compaction, Hiking Produc-tivity in Middle Rows." That article discussed the Kargs’ use of a Track-Till® attachment mounted on their 24-row John Deere DB44 CCS planter.
While their self-propelled harvester and the beet cart have been key to minimizing truck traffic in their beet fields, the Kargs go one step further. "We build a road, made out of steel, from the driveway of the road into the field," Brian explains. "Trucks park on that, and we bring all the beets to that location. So we never have any trucks driving in the field, and we never drag any dirt out onto the roads. We can work right through pouring rain and never have to hook a truck up to a tractor. It really works well." The Kargs have utilized the steel pads since 2012. Each 10’ x 12’ and one inch thick, they’re placed in the field by a payloader.— Don Lilleboe