Alberta Sugar Beet Growers members ready to go

Harvest is starting for the sweetest crop in Southern Alberta 

Starting September 4th, farmers from across Southern Alberta will haul their harvesters into the sugar beet fields and start digging that 100% Canadian Sweetness! Early harvest, also known as “mini” harvest is one of the ways in which sugar beet farmers can ensure the factory has the necessary inventory of sugar beets to start up the factory. The goal is to deliver over 180,000 tonnes of sugar beets to the factory in September. This will be done by opening the receiving stations located in Burdett, Taber, Vauxhall, Picture Butte, Enchant, Coaldale and Tempest at varying times over the next 26 days. With a higher than average expected yield this year, the importance of delivering beets during early harvest for the growers is very important. 

“2019 was a challenging year for sugar beet farmers due to the weather. We had to leave 45% of our crop in the ground and we do not want that to happen again this year. To mitigate that threat, as we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us, we are encouraging our growers to dig a little of their crop during this early harvest period to alleviate some of the pressure on main harvest ” Says Gary Tokariuk, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers President. 

Main harvest is set to start on October 1st, 2020 and with over 30,000 acres of sugar beets to be harvested, it is going to be a busy fall. Sugar beets are stored outside in piles and delivered to the factory as needed. With a higher than above average yield expected this year, the role that early harvest will play is very important. Typically, all the beets will be processed by mid-February but with a crop this size, it could take longer. 

“We ask that people be patient with farmers as they move equipment from field to field and to watch out for trucks hauling sugar beets from the fields to the receiving stations” says Tokariuk “We understand that this can be frustrating. Something to remember is that the contents of that truck that is moving slow will probably be on your dinner plate over the next 6 months.” 

Alberta Sugar Beet Growers strives to ensure a Southern Alberta Sugar Beet Industry exists that is progressive and sustainable for future generations. It is focused on promoting the industry through effective partnerships, providing a united voice for producers, guiding research to enhance competitiveness of the industry while providing leadership and representation to local producers at all levels. The history of growing sugar beets in Southern Alberta dates back to 1902 with multiple generations of families growing #absugar22 

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