It was a sweet year for Southern Alberta sugar beets

By Dori Modney (@Dori_Modney on Twitter)
November 21, 2017 - 3:19pm

TABER -  The president of the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, confirms the 2017 sugar beet harvest was a great one. Arnie Bergen-Henengouwen attributes a warm summer and a lot of irrigation for producing record yields and a record sugar content, which is up well over 19% - an exceptional number for North America.
Just under 27,000 acres of beets were contracted this year through Lantic Sugar, which operates the sugar factory in Taber.  The completed harvest tally is expected to be more than 780,000 tonnes, and by next February, that will amount to almost 100,000 tonnes of processed sugar.
The Taber area still only produces about 10% of the Country`s domestic sugar needs.  Producers would like to grow more but the Taber plant is fairly close to capacity.
There is also research underway for alternative uses for sugar beets, such as feed production. Some European countries use beet sugar to make a distilled liquor. As well, a number of American counties use beet juice as de-icing or anti-icing products on winter roads.

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