Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 63

Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative

The growers generally use oats as their cover crop. "It
buffers the hard winds and rain for them," he says, noting
that this has helped the farmers grow up to 120,000 acres of
sugarbeets annually. "It's been a very successful program."

Progressive Investments
SMBSC's grower/owners are extremely progressive, Geselius says. "They like to use whatever technology is available
to help them do a better job," he states, noting that the cooperative invests regularly in technology.
This recently included expanding its use of the Esri platform, so it can monitor fields during the harvest process.
"Basically what happens is our agriculturalists go out and
they measure one of the sugarbeets fields every year, so we
can [create] a map," Geselius describes.
"When we get ready to harvest, we can track how many
tons are from that are from that particular field," he continues, noting that this helps the cooperative determine what its
final yield will be.
SMBSC also uses satellite imagery throughout the grow-

partment is to help our owners grow better, higher-quality
sugarbeets, because that's how we can provide the most returns to them," Geselius states.

Working with Weather
SMBSC constantly looks for ways to be more efficient "so
we can return more dollars to our shareholders," Geselius
says. These efforts included the recent investment in a new
ventilation system for pile sites.
Thanks to the system, "We take advantage of the cold,
Minnesota winters and freeze the piles," he says, noting that
the piles are created on long asphalt strips. "We've been doing a mix of increasing our ventilation and increasing our
storage capacity."
But SMBSC also takes steps to protect its crops against
Mother Nature.
"Our growers will plant a cover crop at the same time they
plant their sugarbeets," Geselius says. "It makes sure our top
soils don't wash away with the heavy rains.
"When the sugarbeets are small, they are relatively fragile," he explains. "The rains or windy days can disturb or
kill them."
food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover1
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Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 1
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Contents
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Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover3
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