2019 Beet Crop
“We started out with harvest things were going really good then the October forecast came and someplace at single-digit temperatures, some places even lower, in the middle of October! So that was a real challenge. You can’t pile the beets if they’re frozen. So we had to let them sit in the field and harvest was suspended across the state for five days. Then once the beets thawed out so we could store them, we started to harvest again.
Lee says across the state, the tops of the beets were frozen, and hard if not impossible to defoliate.
“It was a challenge trying to get the tops off. We had to cover a few times with a defoliator. We really had slow down and sometimes make a couple of passes to get the tops off whatever we had to do, but we did, we got the crop in so most all of the beets were harvested here,” said Lee.
Preliminary numbers show that yields are average 39 tons per acre, but the sugar content is good 16 to 17 percent. And his year's crop should top 177-thousand acres in a season of highs and lows.