Growers In 'March Madness' Frenzy

Published online: Mar 25, 2004
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Sugarbeet growers in eastern Oregon and western Idaho are joining the 'March madness' craze. They aren't dropping basketballs in hoops but they are dropping plenty of sugarbeet seed in the ground. According to an extension agent in western Idaho, the pace is maddening as growers rush to take advantage of warmer temperatures to get their beet crop in. Temperatures have been hovering between 70 and 80 degrees F for the past 10 days. This has brought the entire area into the annual frenzy to get crops in. Growers know the sooner they get beets planted, the earlier they will emerge and the faster they will grow for higher tonnage. Although the March stretch has been fairly dry, growers are also hopeful that once their crops are planted they will get the rain they need to help germination. This is particuarly true for many growers in the area who still furrow-irrigate.