Sugar beet crop
But while Idaho growers barely squeaked by, other parts of the country were not so lucky.
“Across the country, there are about 170-thousand acres that are not going to be harvested this year,” said Lee. That's about the size of Idaho’s Amalgamated’s total acreage. To put it in perspective, that's the same as a mile wide strip from Pocatello to Boise. So that many beets are going to be left in the ground this year across the country. We were fortunate in Idaho, we got our beets out, we had challenges but not like the Midwest.”
Mexico, under the agreement, will make up sugar supply shortfalls, market prices will be up from last year and despite a late start, the quality of the 2019 crop is still good.
“Yields are about average, it wasn’t record-breaking but average. Like I said the beets made up for lost time this summer. It was average, happy for that, it could have been worse,” 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.