Nebraska Sugarbeet Planting Complete

Sugarbeet farmers had one of the most compact planting seasons they seen in years. Farmers were initially delayed in planting due to cold wet planting conditions, but once field dried out planting of this year's crop went quickly. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Western Sugar Cooperative Area Ag Manager Jerry Darnell says planting is 99.9 percent complete. About two and half of the region's acres have been replanted due to freezing or the crop having problems breaking through the soil crust.

Forty percent of the crop has emerged and the rest of the crop is about a week away from emerging. With warmer than normal temperatures, Darnell is concerned the ground may turn hard and build a crust, which will make it hard for the remaining seedlings to emerge through the soil surface.

Despite the beneficial moisture in April and early May the crop could use more moisture. Darnell says there is enough moisture if the crop "roots down", but the small seedlings that are just sprouting are being hurt by heat that is taking the moisture away. He says the crop needs about a half inch of rain to help the crop get started. The main concern is getting the crop up out of the ground, healthy and growing.

This year the Wyobraska region's sugar beet crop was planted in approximately 10 days. Nearly all other Western Sugar Cooperative growing areas have wrapped up sugar beet planting. Darnell says the Greeley - Fort Collins, Colorado area has received a lot more moisture, so planting there is only 70 percent complete.

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