Michigan sugarbeet planting is moving quickly
A sugarbeet grower in the thumb of Michigan says planting is moving faster than usual this spring and it started in mid-April.
“The crop in Michigan was about 70% planted in five days.”
Rick Gerstenberger from Sanilac County says the wet, cool conditions have slowed things down the last few days, but 40% of his crop is planted and the emerged sugarbeets look good.
“There are some beets up and other beets at the top of the ground waiting to come through on warmer days. I think we’ll dry out and warm up quick enough the ground won’t crust over before the sugarbeets emerge. I’m not panicked yet.”
USDA says 76% of Michigan’s were planted by the end of April, ahead of the five-year average. Gerstenberger says an earlier planting season means the crop has the potential to add tonnage and produce more sugar.
“Planting early is very good for the sugarbeet crop, but you have to do it when conditions are right.”
Gerstenberger grows sugarbeets for Michigan Sugar Cooperative, the only sugarbeet co-op in the state.
Photo credit: Rick Gerstenberger