Germains Seed Technology began developing solutions to maximize the yield of sugar beet in the 1960s. Germains revolutionized how sugar beet is planted by introducing one of the first seed pellet technologies to the U.S. sugar beet industry. Today our Fargo location continues to process hundred of thousands of pounds of sugarbeet seeds with Xbeet® seed treatments. December through mid-March representatives from Germains’ North America Fargo location attend a number of conferences, seminars, and growers meetings throughout the U.S. Germains’ Sugarbeet Sales & Marketing Manager Kevin Bigger and Market Manager David Bateman along with Agronomist Randy Hemb have attended thirteen sugar beet industry events this winter including the American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting.
American Sugarbeet Growers Association Annual Meeting
Sugarbeet related topics varied between each event, but the trending topics that carried through all of the events were; the challenges growers are facing from the political arena, current economics and social challenges farms are experiencing as the millennial generation moves into leadership roles. The controversy brewing over the presidential election set the tone for the political portion of the America Sugar Beet Growers Association. Elections at the national and state level were discussed with the majority of attendees all agreeing that the upcoming elections will be extremely unpredictable and could sway either way. Regardless of the election outcome, the elections impact on the U.S. agriculture industry remains extremely unpredictable.
North America Economic Report by the Northwest Farm Credit Services
From the standpoint of economics, the Northwest Farm Credit Services reported the following “Global sugar production is forecast down 3 million metric tons (raw value) in 2015-16.Consumption is projected to reach a record 173 million tons, drawing stocks down 4 million tons. Brazil, India, the EU and China all decreased production for 2015-16. Limited production increases are forecast in the U.S., Mexico, Australia and Russia. Sugar beet prices are profitable and expected to fall only slightly in 2016 to around $45 per ton. Stable sugar beet prices are matched with slightly lower prices for U.S. wholesale refined beet sugar, down 12 percent to $0.32 per pound since last November. Planted sugar beet acres are expected to remain stable in 2016, supported by sugar beets’profitable returns relative to other commodities.”
USDA Forecasts 3% Decline in Net Farm Income | Improvement over double digit decline
The Next Generation of Sugarbeet Growers | Millennial Transition
The wildcard of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association conference was the meeting that addressed social issues facing the sugarbeet industry. Historically, sugarbeet farmers have not been inclined to share their information. As the millennial generation moves into key roles within sugarbeet farm operations, the millennial generation’s use of social media and style of communication is causing friction with the senior generation growers. As everyone agrees, sharing the farm story with the public is a popular marketing tactic however now it is just a matter two generations working together to formulate the right story without disclosing proprietary information.
It has been an incredibly busy conference season for our commercial team recently concluded their conference season at the 54th International Sugarbeet Institute Tradeshow in Grand Forks, North Dakota.