Alberta Sugarbeet Growers Expect Solid 2017

Published online: Oct 17, 2017 News Joe Scarpelli
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Source: Global News


The harvest of sugarbeets is under way in Alberat, despite a late start due to unfavorable weather conditions.

Alberta Sugar Beet Growers (ASBG) estimates more than 860,000 tons of sugarbeets will be harvested from across southern Alberta over the next four to six weeks and delivered to Taber for processing and refinement.

The Rogers plant in Taber, Alberta, is the only place in Canada producing domestic sugar.

“Initial results on the quality are really good,” says ASBG president Arnie Bergen-Henengouwen.

But not without a scare. Bergen-Henengouwen says the recent wet, snowy weather pushed harvest back by up to 10 days. Dry conditions across southern Alberta during the summer months also created struggles.

“Many of our growers experienced less than two inches of total rainfall through the whole growing season,” says Bergen-Henengouwen . “The crop typically uses 16 inches of precipitation and that shortfall all had to be made up by irrigation.”

Now Bergen-Henengouwen and southern Alberta beet growers are asking Mother Nature for just a little bit more of that dry weather.

“We need three good weeks without any more moisture and relatively moderate temperatures,” he says.

If everything goes according to plan, ASBG says over 110,000 tons of refined sugar will be processed by mid-February.