Since 1925, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers (ASBG) has been rooted in a mission of support, helping local farmers provide a sustainable and ethical source of sugar to Canadian families. The growers, often multi-generational, hold a deep passion for the crops they produce and ASBG helps them remain progressive and competitive to ensure Canadian sugar stays available for future generations.
100% locally grown, Canadian sugar. That is what our 200 farm families produce while we proudly support them in growing sugar beets.
Alberta is currently the only province that grows sugar beets, providing the single source of 100% Canadian sugar. All crop production is done in the southern part of the province, within two hours of Taber, and between 200 farm families.
Up to six different seed varieties may be planted during the growing season of May through October. At the end of the season, the beets are hauled to the Rogers Sugar Factory in Taber where the sugar is extracted from the root of the plant. Afterwards, when the sugar has been made into its raw form, it is used in a variety of products: baked goods, candies, alcohol, livestock feed, molasses, pop, bath bombs, and body care products. And we are especially proud to report that many Canadian beekeepers utilize beet sugar to feed their bees!
Within the 2020 growing season, a total of 29,803 acres of sugar beets were planted and 903,753 tonnes of sugar beets were delivered, resulting in an average yield of 30.3t/acre. The beets had an average sugar content of 19.43% which produced 121,838 tonnes of sugar.
While sugar beets are typically a hardy plant, their growing success can be largely impacted by varying weather conditions. Both hailstorms and windstorms can incur extreme damage to crops, while severe heat or cold may cause delays in the farming process. To help combat the typical hot and dry southern Alberta summers, sugar beet growers irrigate their crops to have precise control over the amount of water that their fields receive, producing higher yields and a healthier standing.