Southern Alberta sugar beet crop looking good after slow start

TABER, Alta. — It was a late start, but southern Alberta’s sugar beet crop is right on schedule.

TABER, Alta. — It was a late start, but southern Alberta’s sugar beet crop is right on schedule.

Seeding was late while sugar beet growers waited for a deal between their marketing board and sugar company Lantic Sugar.

A Lantic spokesman says producers got into their fields as soon as an agreement was signed in May.

But then there was a major rainfall in the Bow Island area and some of the crop had to be replanted.

Lantic’s Andrew Llewelyn-Jones says hot temperatures and dry conditions have helped beets bounce back since then.

He says harvest of an above-average crop should begin about Oct. 1 if conditions continue.

“Overall, the crop is looking better than we anticipated it would due to the late seeding,” said Llewelyn-Jones.

“We’d originally, due to the lateness of seeding, expected a crop of about 25 metric tonnes per acre,” he said. “We were at 28.5 last year. I don’t think we’ll see those levels, but the potential is there for 26 or 27 metric tonnes per acre.”

Farmers in southern Alberta grow the vast majority of Canada’s sugar beets. Ontario producers ship their crop to the United States for processing.

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