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Alta. farmers wrap up sugar beet harvest

Southern Alberta’s sugar beet harvest is complete, comprising more than 820,000 tonnes of beets and an average yield of 28.67 tonnes per acre.

Processing of all those beets continues at the Roger’s Sugar factory in Taber, Alta., and trucking beets from the outlying piling stations is under way, said Alberta Sugar Beet Growers executive director Melody Garner-Skiba.

She estimated Nov. 24 that Alberta farmers produced enough beets to yield 138,869 tonnes of sugar.

President Arnie Bergen-Henengouwen said in a news release that harvest went well despite delays created by an October snowfall.

“The yield and sugar content were great, even with the crazy weather we had around Thanksgiving, which had many farmers and our processor concerned,” he said.

Garner-Skiba noted world sugar prices are rising, so “it makes a lot of economic sense for sugar beets to be grown locally to supply Canada with true Canadian sugar versus importing cane to be refined.”

Alberta-grown sugar can be identified in stores on Rogers Sugar products by looking for a black stamp that starts with the number 22.

About 200 farmers planted 28,000 acres of sugar beets this year.

Contact barb.glen@producer.com

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