British Sugar and the National Farmers’ Union’s sugar board (NFU Sugar) have negotiated new contracts from 2021, including a £12m virus yellows crop assurance fund and an innovative futures-linked contract pilot. The assurance fund will compensate growers for a proportion of yield losses from virus yellows disease.
Sugarbeet growers and cooperatives in the U.S. are expected to have a stronger financial year ahead, with improved production and high prices for the 2020-2021 crop ushering in a recovery from the stressful growing season last year. Many growers and processors suffered through significant financial strains due to extreme weather, market uncertainty and severe crop production losses that plagued the 2019-2020 marketing year.
It was once a lucrative crop, but several disappointing years have left sugar beet farmers in a tough spot. “There’s a lot of concern out there. Many farmers are wondering if they can afford to grow the beets,” said Kurt Dobbs, an agronomist. For the past couple of years, the weather hasn’t cooperated and many growers produced beets at a loss.
Coming off a 2019 growing season that was fraught with poor weather conditions during planting and harvesting, the region’s sugar beet growers are hoping 2020 brings them a season of healthy yields and returns. Growers from Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton, along with researchers and industry representatives, met March 11 in Wallaceburg for the annual meeting of the Ontario Sugarbeet Growers Association.
Sugar beet growers can still achieve effective control of costly weeds in crops without the herbicide desmedipham, although care should be taken as there is a higher risk of crop damage due to the greater reliance on mixing straights. Post-emergence herbicide desmedipham has been the cornerstone of beet weed programs for many years, offering control of key broad-leaved weeds such as cleavers, knotgrass, and fat hen, especially in cooler and drier weather.
They create the stuff of magic, equated with deliciousness. And they could make or break a family business. Sugar beets are a mainstay crop in Wyoming. But in northern Wyoming, where the growing conditions are optimal, farmers who grow sugar beets are facing a hardship like they’ve not seen in generations.
Multiple farm agencies and organizations are coming together to assist sugar beet growers with getting 2020s crop in the ground. The Nebraska Extension is hosting a workshop on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance policies tomorrow (Feb. 13) at 9 a.m. at the UNL Panhandle Research and Ext Center in Scottsbluff.
Weather during harvest season in the U.S. Red River Valley, a fertile sugar beet region in Minnesota and North Dakota, has to farmers felt like a series of plagues. Rain and snow pelted crops in September and October. That was followed by a blizzard, and then warm temperatures that left fields a boggy mess.
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