The Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative is receiving a record crop. Vice president of agriculture Todd Geselius says the 36.5 tons per-acre yield bests the previous record of 30.3 set in 2017. He says early planting and timely showers in the middle of August set the stage for decent crop:
“I just think the beets had a very extensive root system (and) were able to find the nutrients and water they needed to keep going. And then once the rain came, they had plenty of water, we mineralized some nitrogen, and it stayed warm.”
Geselius says, unfortunately, this year’s bumper crop produced more than the Co-Op can process:
“So we did have to leave about 20 percent of the acres unharvested.”
The Renville-based company recommends taking the tops off those acres and leaving the beets to rot naturally in the soil.