Alberta Sugar Beet Growers Pres. Looks on Bright Side of tough 2019

Published online: Jan 10, 2020 News Justin Goulet
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Source: Lethbridge News Now

The president of the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers is optimistic for the 2020 season.

This comes after a tough 2019 harvest which saw crop loss due to rugged weather conditions. Rogers Sugar Inc. and the ASBG made the decision to terminate the beet harvest in November.

Arnie Bergen-Henengouwen said it was a very difficult call to make. However, he chose and continues to focus on the positives of this past season.

“It’s all been processed [salvaged crops]; processing was completed just before Christmas. The processing went very well. The beets that we did salvage processed well, and the sugar is all sold.”

He explained that following the first storm of the harvesting season, about 15 percent of crops were harvested. Through very difficult conditions, growers managed to get around another 40 percent out.

Right now, the ASBG is in the middle of spring grower meetings.

“As farmers are, we are eternal optimists and everybody’s looking forward to starting a new year and hopefully we have a better end result,” Bergen-Henengouwen said.

“I’m quite optimistic for this coming year. We’ve got a contract in place for 2020, we’re expected to start contracting in probably late March and we’re expecting a good growing season ahead. That’s always our expectation for sure.”

He believes all producers are happy to see the 2019 season over with and are looking forward to 2020. He added that spring seeding usually starts at the end of April or during the first week of May.