Sugar Beet Harvest Finishes Well

harvesting sugarbeets
Figure 1. Sugarbeet harvest near Scottsbluff, November 2018. (Photos by Gary Stone)

Sugar Beet Harvest Finishes Well

Sugarbeet harvest
Figure 1. Sugarbeet harvest in the Nebraska Panhandle, November 2018

Sugar beet harvest concluded last week in the Panhandle of western Nebraska, eastern and northcentral Wyoming, southern Montana, and northern Colorado.  Higher than normal temperatures slowed early harvest and the snowstorm that occurred the second week curtailed the main harvest for a few days to allow the soil to dry.

So far, this has been a good year for growing and harvesting sugar beets. Nebraska yields have been averaging 31.82 tons per acre, a new record, with a 16.5% sugar content.

At 1,406,000 tons of sugarbeet production in 2018 Nebraska ranked fifth nationally. Minnesota (10,320,000), Idaho (6,589,000), North Dakota (6,090,000 tons), and Michigan (4,455,000 tons) ranked higher.