Top beet growers named in southern Alberta


Gouw Quality Onions, a southern Alberta farming operation that grows more than onions, was the top sugar beet grower of 2020 based on adjusted tonnes per acre. Gouw recorded 38.44 tonnes, considerably above the 2019 top tonnage of 35.64.

Jim and Jane Bettcher hold second spot at 38.26 tonnes, followed by Muller Ventures with 36.08.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Herbert Wall (35.63); A & D Wall Farms (35.48); Kreft Farms (35.43); Harold Unruh (35.31); Laus Stiekema (35.20); P & F Farms (35.13); and Pepneck Brothers (34.94).

Average yield among all growers was 30.3 tonnes per acre.

A total of 29,803 acres of beets were planted in southern Alberta last year, all under contract with Lantic Sugar. A May 31 windstorm forced the reseeding of 491 acres and a June 13 hailstorm affected about 2,000 acres of beets in the Barnwell, Taber and Vauxhall areas, according to the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers director liaison report.

Harvest began with an early session Sept. 4 and ended Nov. 6. There were 903,753 tonnes of beets delivered with an average sugar content of 19.43 percent. About 30,000 tonnes were later discarded from piling stations when weather downgraded quality and they could not be processed.