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Sugar beet growers celebrate successful year

Posted on December 8, 2015 by Jamie Rieger
Photo by Jamie Rieger Rebecca Tokariuk presents Bert Kolen with the 2015 Beet King AWard at the Burdett/ Bow Island Sugar Beet Growers banquet on Dec. 3.

The hot summer with warm nights was just what the sugar beet growers in the Burdett/Bow Island area needed to harvest some record-breaking crops.

Last Thursday, the Bow Island/Burdett Sugar Beet Growers held their annual banquet where the top producers were announced.

Bert Kolen was the named the 2015 Beet King for the second consecutive year and said the award came as a bit of a surprise.

“I was kind of surprised. We had a good year with lots of heat units and sunshine,” said Kolen. “Harvest was delayed for a day or so because of rain, but I just do whatever has to be done, just like everybody else.”

Bernie Lyczewski, president of Burdett/Bow Island Sugar Beet Growers said the conditions were almost ideal for the sugar beet growers this year, despite getting off to a late start.

“Bert had 33 (tonnes per acre) last year and close to 35 this year, said Lyczewski. “We had several growers over 30 this year. The heat units were above last year’s. That was the main thing, that and the long, warm nights.”

The top 10 sugar beet growers for the year:

1. Bert Kolen Farms: 34.98 adjusted tonnes/acre

2. Dalorose Farms: 33.52

3. D.J. Lynn Farms: 31.68

4. GC Grol Farms Ltd.: 30.99

5. Frank Young: 30.60

6. Quattro Farms Ltd.: 30.22

7. Ron Wikkerink: 29.97

8. Glen Young: 29.93

9. Jonker Farms Ltd.: 29.85

10: Frank and Robert Vander Helm: 29.41

The 20/20 award (20 percent sugar, 20 tonnes per acre before adjustment) went to Frits Dekker with 20.25 percent sugar.

The 30/20 award (20 percent sugar/30 tonnes per acre before adjustment) went to Dalorose Farms with 31.05, 20.74.

The Burdett/Bow Island sugar beet growers also set a new record for factory sugar at 19.64 percent, 18.02 extractable.

For BD Sugar, the local region had the highest extractable sugar at 18.46 percent.

Calgary-based juggler Paul Isaak provided the entertainment for the evening and had the crowd in stitches with his comedy routine that included a lot of audience participation.

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