Sugar Beets Yield More Sugar
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 18, 2018
The sugar beet harvest in the Big Horn Basin is nearing completion with about 70 percent of the crop in hand on Friday.
But it’s the quality – not just the quantity – that has Western Sugar Cooperative breathing a sigh of relief.
Western Sugar Cooperative senior agriculturist Mark Bjornestad says tonnage is going to be just under 29 per acre. Tonnage had been forecast to come in at a record 31 tons per acre in the Lovell factory district.
But Bjornestad told the Powell Tribune that the sugar content of the beets is looking to hit a record high at nearly 18 percent on average, with some growers reporting 20 percent sugar. He said that as a rule, each one percent of sugar content is worth three tons of yield. And he added that the high sugar content points to a very high quality of crop, with low impurities.
Cold and snow slowed the harvest some over the weekend but growers resumed harvesting this week. The harvest in the Lovell district should be 90 percent done by week’s end.