Preparations Begin for the 2017 Growing Season
ACSC Ag Department
The 2017 growing season will begin like every other growing season at American Crystal Sugar Company. Our team of Agriculturists will be contacting their grower group to set up contracting appointments sometime between now and the end of March. At these meetings, our shareholders will be signing Annual Agreements that, in part, indicate the minimum number of acres they will plant and the maximum number of acres that can be harvested for the cooperative. The acres each shareholder can grow are dependent on the number of preferred shares owned by the shareholder/grower. These contracting sessions however, are more than just getting signatures on a piece of paper. The sessions can be a fruitful time for both the Agriculturist and the grower. It is time spent exchanging information to learn what worked in the past and what didn’t work. This is a time to review the practices of the last growing season and to plan for what practices should be employed for the 2017 crop. Armed with an analysis of data from past Grower Practice records, our staff will highlight the best fertility rates in their respective areas, the best varieties for the individual fields, the ideal seed spacing and plant populations that have been proven to give the greatest returns over several years.
The growers and staff will have opportunities to discuss unique pest problems like glyphosate resistant Waterhemp control and control strategies for the Sugarbeet Root Maggot. They will be discussing strategies for minimizing the impacts of diseases that can reduce yields and negatively impact both the quality of the crop and the long term storage of the crop. In addition, there will be many other topics of discussion that include conservation and stewardship, harvest operations, capital projects, policy changes, factory operations and political influences that affect the company and the grower’s bottom line. Yes, these next 2 months will mark the beginning of the 2017 growing season just like every other growing season in the past. Together with our shareholders, we will be taking that first step to making a plan for the production of the best, most profitable crop on the farm.