ISSUE #411

411 - The 2002 Shareholder Education Program

12-11-01

The 2002 Shareholder Education Program offered by the American Crystal Sugar Company Agriculture Department will focus on providing shareholders practical solutions to production problems. The theme of this on-going educational effort will be "Close The Gap." The "Gap" is the difference between the actual yield on any given field compared to the potential yield that might have been possible to achieve. Just a 5% improvement in yield would be worth $44 per acre based on 2001 harvest statistics.

2002 Shareholder Education Program

Why conduct an educational program?

  • Identify barriers to optimum production in each district.
  • Identify possible ways for shareholders to improve agronomic practices.
  • Increase yield, quality and on-farm profit.

What will be presented?

Nine major production problems identified in 2001 were:

  • Variety selection and disease management issues
  • Rhizomania an emerging threat to production in the RRV
  • New N recommendations and fertility management
  • New weed control products and late season control
  • Satellite imagery and the N credit study
  • Cercospora - New products and cost effective strategies for 2002
  • Stand establishment and starter fertilizer use
  • Insect management - lygus bug /root maggots/others
  • Harvest management decisions for profit

How will information be delivered?

Factory district agriculture staff will provide a variety of opportunities for shareholders to acquire the most current BMP's information possible. 
Educational opportunities will include:

  • Factory wide meetings
  • Local "coffee" shop sessions
  • Truckhaul meetings
  • Farm shop meetings
  • Media spots
  • One-on-one consultations

Where will BMP's information come from?

  • University research
  • American Crystal Grower Practices records and reports
  • Individual grower crop histories
  • Any other useful information source

When will "Close The Gap" educational activities occur?

Some activities involving variety selection, seed treatment use, and disease management may have already occurred. Educational program offerings will be focused during the December to March period. However special activities to respond to in-season issues/problems might occur anytime. July, August and September meetings will focus on Cercospora control; harvest decision-making and associated BMP's.

How will a shareholder know what will take place?

Each shareholder should already have received a postcard with general information on the "Close The Gap" educational program. Vice President of Agriculture, David Berg referred to it at the Factory District meetings too. A brochure describing the education efforts for 2002 will be available at the Annual Meeting and from your agriculturist. Watch for more information in farm publications and your local newspaper. Brief radio announcements will remind all shareholders of local meeting dates. Postcard reminders will be sent out each month.

For more information refer to the Internet and DTN announcements and stay in touch with your agriculturist.

The vital statistics for the 2001 crop are on the next page. This information is certainly interesting and relates to local weather patterns very closely. Can these data be used in any way to impact individual shareholder operations to make them more successful? Yes, some suggestions to consider might include:

Fact: A shareholder has above piler average yields but below average quality.

Options Available:

  • Increase plant population if lower than district / piler averages
  • Choose a "higher sugar" type variety
  • Plant earlier if weather and soil conditions permit it
  • Minimize impact of cercospora and root rots
  • Reduce N use by 10 or 20 lbs./acre

Fact: A shareholder has above average quality but below piler or factory average yields.

Options Available:

  • select a more balanced variety with higher yield potential
  • increase plant population if below 160 plants/100' of row
  • plant earlier if soil conditions and weather permit
  • improve weed control if weeds were a problem in 2001
  • minimize impact of insect and disease pests if they caused crop loss in 2001

Agriculturists can assist each shareholder in comparing his specific practices compared to piler, factory or Red River Valley practices from the grower records database.

Yield and Quality by Home Station - 2001 Crop

StationYieldSugar %SLM %Rec/TonRec/AcreNitrate
MHD Yd.  17.9  18.42  1.25  343  6140  1.5 
Hitterdal  18.2  17.87  1.25  332  6042  1.8 
C-W  14.5  17.95  1.39  331  4800  1.8 
Casselton  17.2  17.74  1.40  327  5624  2.1 
Kindred  14.8  17.78  1.37  328  4854  1.9 
Amenia  20.5  17.88  1.38  330  6765  2.3 
Perley  18.8  17.95  1.24  334  6279  1.7 
Felton  18.3  18.08  1.21  337  6167  1.7 
Sabin  17.3  18.11  1.28  337  5830  1.7 
Glyndon  17.4  17.96  1.24  334  5812  1.7 
MHD Factory  17.7  18.00  1.27  335  5930  1.8 
             
HLB Yd. 18.0  17.72  1.37  327  5886  2.3 
Waukon  20.2  17.94  1.17  335  6767  1.3 
Ada West  18.2  17.33  1.31  320  5824  2.3 
Ada North  21.3  17.77  1.22  331  7050  1.8 
Midway  18.7  17.33  1.37  319  5965  2.5 
Reynolds  19.0  17.79  1.37  328  6232  2.4 
HLB Factory  18.8  17.67  1.33  327  6148  2.2 
             
CRK Yd. 19.8  17.65  1.23  328  6494  1.8 
Nielsville  18.5  17.59  1.29  326  6031  2.0 
Eldred  19.2  17.91  1.30  332  6374  1.8 
Scandia  17.6  17.41  1.32  322  5667  2.3 
Warren  18.2  19.21  1.25  359  6534  1.7 
O'Meara  17.6  18.51  1.27  345  6072  1.7 
CRK Factory  19.6  17.68  1.25  329  6448  1.8 
             
EGF Yd.  17.3  17.96  1.32  333  5761  2.2 
Ardoch  19.7  18.82  1.52  346  6816  2.7 
Voss  19.3  18.91  1.53  348  6716  2.7 
 Oslo 18.2  19.20  1.55  353  6425  2.7 
Argyle  15.1  19.15  1.27  358  5406  1.9 
Alvarado  16.9  18.77  1.29  350  5915  1.9 
EGF Factory  17.8  18.49  1.36  343  6105  2.2 
             
DTN Yd. 16.4  18.11  1.56  331  5428  3.2 
McArthur  10.5  17.36 1.60  315  3308  3.4 
Bathgate  19.8  18.62  1.42  344  6811  2.5 
Hamilton  18.6  18.61  1.45  343  6380  2.7 
Nash  21.1  18.22  1.61  332  7005  3.3 
Grafton  19.0  18.76  1.56  344  6536  2.8 
Humboldt  11.2  17.64  1.49  323  3618  2.7 
Stephen  15.3  18.88  1.34  351  5370  2.0 
St. Thomas 19.1 17.61 1.55 321 6131 3.3
Kennedy 11.3 18.26 1.45 336 3797 2.4
DTN Factory 16.5 18.18 1.52 333 5495 3.0
             
RRV 17.8 18.04 1.36 334 5945 2.2