Home News and Politics WARNING: Unbelievable Year for Alberta Sugar Beet Growers in Lethbridge

WARNING: Unbelievable Year for Alberta Sugar Beet Growers in Lethbridge

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WARNING: Unbelievable Year for Alberta Sugar Beet Growers in Lethbridge

Sugar Beet Harvest in Full Swing

The sugar beet harvest is currently underway in Southern Alberta, the sole producer and processor in Canada. Gary Tokariuk, president of the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, revealed that they grow 20,000 acres of sugar beets, producing 125,000 tonnes of sugar, which accounts for eight per cent of the Canadian market. This year, they are predicting a higher average yield of 35 metric tonnes per acre, with some farmers even reaching a record-breaking 40 metric tonnes. The improved crop quality is expected to result in better yields and profits for the farmers.

Inspiring Innovation

The high-quality sugar beets have inspired innovation in the industry. Back 40 Distillery, owned by Brad Longacre, uses beet sugar to make their vodka, catering to individuals with celiac disease. They are among many distillers benefiting from the use of sugar beets in their products.

Challenges for Southern Alberta Farmers

While the sugar beet industry is enjoying a successful season, there are concerns shared by all southern Alberta farmers. Dry spring and summer conditions have resulted in low water levels in St. Mary River and Lethbridge Northern Irrigation districts, raising concerns for the next year’s crops. A good snowpack and early melt are necessary to replenish the water reservoirs and prepare for potential water shortages.

Hope for a Sweet Future

The sugar beet industry hopes that water shortages will not affect the sweetness of next year’s crops. A successful harvest depends on favorable weather conditions and adequate water supply.

Drought Affecting Residential Water Usage

Watch a video about the impact of the drought on residential water usage near Lethbridge. Duration: 2:06

Drought affecting residential water usage near Lethbridge

Vulcan County Declares Agriculture Disaster

Find out more about Vulcan County’s agriculture disaster declaration due to drought conditions. Duration: 1:56

Vulcan County declares agriculture disaster due to drought conditions

The sugar beet industry remains optimistic about the future, but the success of next year’s harvest depends on overcoming the challenges posed by water shortages and drought conditions.

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