Can’t Beet This: Farmer Encourages Dairy Farmers to Incorporate Sugar Beet into Feed
Wisconsin is the official dairy state, but one Langlade County farmer is working to bring back a crop to that title even greater, through sugar beets.
Rine Ridge Farms in Bryant is the only farm growing sugar beets in the state, but they are hoping this cow super-food will catch on throughout the Midwest. On Tuesday, several dairy farmers and farm technicians from all over the Midwest showed up to the farm as they harvested it to see if the crop is something worth investing in.
“The cows milk better on it. That’s been proven by a couple of dairies,” said Rine Ridge Farms Co-Owner Dan Rine.
He said the beets are 20% sugar and are also 80% more digestible than traditional corn feed, which is only 40% digestible.
BetaSeed provided the seeds for the Sugar Beets. Traditionally, the company would use the beets for making sugar, but in the last few years, they wanted to expand to the dairy industry.
“We are in the southwest, Texas, Arizona,” said BetaSeed’s Business Development Coordinator, Cindy Suplinski, “started coming out into this area because the corn (prices) last year skyrocketed.”
This is not Rine’s first go at the crop. Last year, he along with three other farmers tried it out, but could not keep going because they could not get the equipment needed for this year. Now, Rine Ridge Farms is sole grower in Wisconsin. Rine said, though they are still working out some kinks with the machinery and finding the best ways to grow it, he has hope for its potential.
“It does well in our environment. It yields quite a bit more than corn, we’re looking at about 35 ton to the acre verse corn at 20 ton to the acre of silage. So, we think that it might have its place here. It’s just something different.”
Several of the dairy farmers who observed say they plan to give the root a try.
Source: WSAW Channel 7 News