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Sugar Beet

By AL KALIN, Staff Columnist | July 28, 2005
When I was a kid, most farm boys went through certain rites of passage during summer they turned 12 after school let out. I was double-jinxed because my folks not only farmed but ran a feedlot. That meant I was zapped by multiple rites of passage the summer I turned 12. Back on the ranch, there I sat atop Old Red, my horse. It was 9:30 in the morning, hot and dusty. The field, the cattle, Old Red and I all smelled like rotting sugar beets. My partner and I were working our way through 450 steers munching on sugar beet tops.
By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer | November 3, 2001
Local entrepreneurs are trying to add some sweetness to a sugar industry that's turned sour in recent years. The farmers are hoping to save the Holly Sugar plant in rural Brawley by adding sugar cane processing to existing beet production. Sugar prices hit a 20-year low last year and earlier this month sugar farmers dodged another attempt to remove their aide programs from the federal Farm Bill. California started 2001 with four sugar-processing plants. Now there are only two. Valley sugar beet farmers Craig Elmore, Larry Fleming and Carson Kalin, co-owners of Brawley-based Imperial Bioresources LLC, have been testing sugar cane production so the Holly plant can operate year-round.
By EDUARDO HERNANDEZ, Staff Writer | August 6, 2005
BRAWLEY ? The cost of diesel prompted independent truckers to go on strike at the Holly Sugar Corp. near Brawley on Friday morning, but after negotiations with the local sugar beet growers the strike was resolved the same day. Curt Rutherford, president of the local sugar beet advisory board, said the beet growers gave in to the demands of the truckers, who were seeking more reimbursement for fuel costs. "We need help to cover the cost," said an anonymous trucker at the strike site.
August 16, 2005
Nothing can inspire things getting done faster than the smell of money going up in smoke. Last week independent truckers who deliver sugar beets to the local Holly Sugar factory brought their rigs to the facility and staged a strike, insisting that increasing prices for diesel fuel were making their labors significantly less profitable, if profitable at all. The threat of all those valuable sugar beets rotting in Imperial Valley fields while...
By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer | August 24, 2005
Imperial Valley sugar beet growers are hoping a meeting Thursday with the president of the company purchasing Holly Sugar will be the lynchpin that leads to a contract for the local 2006 beet season. Curt Rutherford, a sugar beet grower and president of the Valley chapter of the California Beet Growers Association, said the meeting will be key in reaching a contract. Imperial Sugar, the parent company of Holly Sugar, which has a sugar-processing facility in rural Brawley on Keystone Road, announced last week it would be selling Holly Sugar to Southern Minnesota Sugar Beet, a cooperative based in Renville, Minn.
September 27, 2008
Announcement of Crystal?s decision was made Friday by David Rhodes, field representative for the company. He contacted some 60 growers to inform them of the policy. Hope was held that Holly Sugar Corp. or Union Sugar Co. might contract for the beets for the ex-Crystal growers. But there was no definite word on this by Saturday afternoon. > > 40 years ago ? Three Imperial County sheriff?s deputies and an El Centro policeman today went to Laguna, Mexico, about four miles south of Mexicali, to search for the body of a young woman believed drowned yesterday.
April 12, 2001
BRAWLEY ? A woman suffered minor injuries when her vehicle rolled on Highway 78 east of here and landed partially in a sugar beet field. California Highway Patrol Officer Roland Pritchard said the single-vehicle accident occurred two miles east of McConnell Road, although Jon Hamilton, owner of Hawkins Towing, the company that towed the sedan, said the vehicle was about 200 feet west of McConnell. Eddie Baxter of Gold Cross Ambulance Service said a 19-year-old female sustained abrasions and was transported to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley.
By DARREN SIMON | August 28, 2005
Talks were expected to continue this week between local sugar beet growers and the Minnesota-based cooperative purchasing all Holly Sugar holdings in California,including the sugar plant in rural Brawley. A meeting was conducted Thursday between local growers and John Richmond, president of Southern Minnesota Sugar Beet, a cooperative based in Renville, Minn., but no deal had been reached by Friday that would have local farmers begin planting beets for the 2006 season. Southern Minnesota officials have not returned phone calls by this newspaper since Imperial Sugar, parent company of Holly Sugar, announced it had struck a deal to sell Holly Sugar to the cooperative.
September 18, 2005
I feel the Imperial Valley has the ability to become a well-known region for providing alternative energy sources. Luis Zendejas should establish a people's forum to show the powers that be that the Valley must take advantage of any source of alternate energy. The Imperial Valley already utilizes geothermal energy. Having solar power in a location where the sun is so strong just makes sense. Any safe alternative is ideal. Many Valley residents already know about the sugar beet conversion plan.
October 3, 2001
50 years ago ? "The burglar with the five-eighths-inch bar" struck in the Imperial Valley for the seventh time in three weeks. Valley Bootery, 635 Main St., and Clement's Drug Store, Sixth and Main streets in El Centro, were the latest victims of burglars who jimmied double doors with a pinch bar to snap the locks and gain entrance. 40 years ago ? Agricultural officials in El Centro estimate the economy of the Valley may be cut back $2 million if sugar beet acreage is cut 6,000 acres by the government.
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