Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Wyoming Sugar going strong during 101st campaign

WORLAND – The 101st Wyoming Sugar campaign is going strong and should continue until the middle of January 2018 with Madden Farms LLC generating sugar beets which produced 14,417 pounds of sugar per acre and Sage Creek Land and Cattle’s beets producing 13,402,109 pounds of sugar on their 1,072 acres.

 

December 9, 2017



WORLAND – The 101st Wyoming Sugar campaign is going strong and should continue until the middle of January 2018 with Madden Farms LLC generating sugar beets which produced 14,417 pounds of sugar per acre and Sage Creek Land and Cattle’s beets producing 13,402,109 pounds of sugar on their 1,072 acres.

According to Wyoming Sugar President and CEO Mike Greear the top 10 growers for this year are:

— Madden Farms LLC with 14,417 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Weilever Farms LLC , Midvale, with 13,677 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Russell Land and Livestock, Basin, with 13,039 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Sage Creek Land and Cattle with 12,502 pounds of sugar per acre.

— South Flat Land and Livestock with 12,163 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Eugene Miller and Sons Inc. with 12,014 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Hamilton Properties with 11,770 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Palesk Farms Inc. with 11,745 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Jordan Farms with 11,694 pounds of sugar per acre.

— Dennis Pince, Riverton, with 10,848 pounds of sugar per acre.

During the first campaign for Wyoming Sugar in 1917 over 4,000 acres were planted yielding six tons per acre with an average of 14.3 percent sugar content. This year 11,179 acres were planted, up 10 percent from 2016, yielding on average 30.3 tons per acre with average sugar content of 17.97 percent. “Sugar content was 17.97 about as close to 18 percent as you can get. We consider that the new normal. With the advent of new seed varieties, the new farming practices, the strong use of pivot irrigation, farmers just flat using technology, I mean they apply the fertilizer at the right time, they stage their fields. We have some guys that have satellite imagery of their fields taken like seven times a year so that they can see how their crops are developing and as a result of all of that their yields are increasing and their sugar content is increasing,” Greear stated. “A good example is that on 10,000 acres last year [2016], our growers produced as much sugar on those 10,000 acres as we used to on 17,000 acres. That’s a huge efficiency, in the course of all this they [growers] go over their fields less, they use less fuel, they use less herbicide, less pesticide and for our environmental friends it’s less CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Greear stated that Wyoming Sugar plans on increasing the number of acres planted another 5 percent for 2018. The goal is to plant 11,750 acres and the company is close to having that amount of acres contracted out.

Wyoming Sugar has taken measures this year to make sure that no beets are lost because of the weather as happened last year. “What got us last year was the very muddy beets and then on Dec. 20 it never got above 10 below for three days and those frozen muddy beets plugged up our system, that was sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back. This year we didn’t have as much rain, although it was a muddy start and we have focused on processing all the muddy beets during the warm weather. We still aren’t to Dec. 20 but, our slice rate has been higher, we are moving through our beets much better and the beets that we have out there right now are the beets that came in later and are not as muddy. I believe even if we get to that cold weather we won’t have the same issues as last year,” Greear explained.

All in all Greear believes that the 101st campaign is going good. He stated that being new to the company he sees all kinds of issues the need to be addressed and all kinds of opportunities for the company. “Better prices would help us tremendously.”

 
 

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