The American Sugarbeet Growers Association Annual Meeting was held in Scottsdale Arizona February 3-5. This event was attended by sugarbeet industry representatives from each production area in the USA. Attendees included state sugarbeet grower associations, Sugarbeet Cooperative board members and other industry representatives. Almost 400 individuals participate in conference themed:
“Understanding the Issues That Impact our Future.”
The American Sugarbeet Growers Association serves as the uniting voice representing sugarbeet growers on issues in state, national and international policies. It plays a vital role in educating politicians on facts about the sugar industry along with educating the public about sugar. Focus topics last year included the: the Mexican trade negotiation, Bio-Tech food labeling, and the Farm Bill. All of which were negotiated bringing positive result for the sugarbeet growers in the USA.
American Sugarbeet Growers Association Annual Meeting
Keynote speaker this year was Jim Wiesemeyer, Vice President of Farm and Trade Policy, Informa Economics Inc. His presentation was on the 2019 Outlook for “The New Congress and the Ag Environment.” A new Congress, a new political environment, trade disruptions, and negotiations are all impacting farmers bottom line. He stressed key items we should be watching for as growers make short and long-term business decisions.
“Sustainability in Agriculture” as of late has become a focus of much attention. Today, major food manufacturers and consumers are focused on the sustainability of our food supply chains. This session helped beet sugar producers learn how to better to show food manufacturers and end consumers the sustainable production practices they implement. It is vital that sugarbeet growers forge a strong relationship with sugar customers to meet their sustainability objectives.
Biotechnology has been very important in the successful production of sugarbeets and other crops. It has generally gained wide acceptance in the USA while some other countries it cannot be used. For sugarbeets the next generation “Triple Stack” herbicide tolerant beets will be available in about five years. This will allow beets to sprayed with one or a combination of glyphosate, glufosinate and/or dicamba. Such cultivation practices will significantly help solve weed herbicide resistance issues. It is also fascinating to note that Brazil one of the largest cane sugar producers in the world is now moving to biotech Bt. Cane. If this continues in several years, a significant portion of world sugar may be derived from biotech plants.
Many other topics too numerous to mention were covered during the 2019 ASGA meeting. The event was exceptionally well organized, included excellent presentations and was very educational. Germains was recognized by showing support to the industry by sponsoring a breakfast for the sugarbeet representatives to attend. It was important and a pleasure for Germains representatives to participate in these important discussions affecting the sugarbeet industry. For more information about the American Sugarbeet Growers Association via website contact www.americansugarbeet.org.