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Taking A Look At This Year’s Sugar Beet Crop
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Idaho is known for its world famous potatoes, but another crop has been making millions for the state for a very long time.
For over 100 years, the sugar beet has been a part of the Gem State’s agricultural community.
And for the last 30 years, the process has taken the Magic Valley by storm.
Sugar beets are North America’s answer to sugar cane.
With our cold and temperate climate, the sugar beet is a good fit.
Once the beet is grown and harvested, it then moves to one of two local plants, one in Twin Falls and one in Paul.
From there, the sucrose is extracted to produce a refined sugar product.
Mark Duffin is the Executive Director of the Idaho Sugar Beet Association.
He says this year’s crop has gotten off on a good foot.
"Most of the growers I've talked to are feeling pretty good about the crop this year. We were able to get it in at a pretty good time... we had a few replants, but not nearly as many as we had last year... so it's off to a good start. We're very hopeful for a good crop. But of course with any crop, as you know... you never count your chickens before they hatch. We still have to get them harvested and through the plants. But it's off to a good start," Duffin explains.
According to the University of Idaho and Landell Mills out of Great Britain, the annual economic impact of Idaho sugar beets is around the 2 billion dollar mark, putting this crop on the top of the list as a big player in the Gem State's agriculture world.