Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a good year for Idaho’s Sugar Beet industry. Brad Griff, Executive Director for the Idaho Sugar Beet Growers Association, said in terms of tons and sugar, it was the second biggest crop in company history.
“The harvest was excellent. It was warm enough that the beets came out nice and easy. It looks like they’ll store well through the winter. Some of the concerns during the harvest is that it can be too warm and growers have to shut down until temperatures drop a little. That didn’t seem to be a very big issue this year.”
He noted growers averaged 40.56 tons per acre with sugar at 18.41%. Griff says there was concern the pandemic would cause some disruption, particularly when it comes beet truck drivers, but, really the challenge to find drivers was no different compared to previous years. Looking forward to next year, one of the big concerns is water, which is common, but Griff says a new administration in the White House will be unique.
“Our growers are very engaged. We advocate for agriculture and sugar beet growers. We’ll watch very closely about what some of his [Biden’s] priorities will be moving forward. And engaging when some of the issues come up that our growers’ voices need to be heard.”
From a crop standpoint, Griff says they expect another very high-quality crop in 2021.
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