Alberta sugar beet growers seeing turnaround

After a terrible harvest in 2019, sugar beet growers in southern Alberta are hoping to have two successful ones this fall.

The first “mini” harvest was conducted earlier this month, with about 180,000 tonnes to be delivered to the Lantic-Rogers processing plant in Taber. The early delivery will allow the plant to ramp up to full production mode for the main harvest, set to begin Oct. 1.

It’s also a hedge against a repeat of last year’s wreck when snow and frost halted the harvest with 45 per cent of the crop still in the ground, said Gary Tokariuk, president of Alberta Sugar Beet Growers.

About 200 families grow sugar beets in the province and this year they planted just over 30,000 acres (up by 2,000 from a year ago), with this year’s crop being rated above average.

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