TWIN FALLS — Amalgamated Sugar Co. finished processing its 2016 crop, setting a record for sugar beets processed, stored and harvested.

The Nampa factory finished slicing beets March 10; The Paul factory finished April 16 and the Twin Falls factory finished a day later.

The slice campaign was the longest in Amalgamated’s 100-year history, John McCreedy, CEO and president, said in a statement.

In all, the company processed 7.2 million tons of sugar beets and expects to produce 2.34 billion pounds of sugar from the crop. Juice stored at the plants will be turned into sugar, then the factories will undergo annual maintenance, repairs and equipment installation in preparation for the 2017 crop.

The company attributes the successful campaign to its people and industry-leading technology, McCreedy said.

“The ability to raise a quality sugar beet crop and the capacity to process that crop requires highly-skilled, dedicated people and cutting-edge technology on the farm and in the factories,” he said. “Without these competitive advantages, we would not have the sustainable agricultural practices or efficient factory operations we have today.”

McCreedy also credits genetically engineered seed allowing growers to “nearly double on-farm productivity while reducing pesticide and herbicide usage, on-farm gas emissions, and water usage,” the statement said. “The genetic modification is then removed during sugarbeet processing, producing refined sugar identical to cane sugar and conventional beet sugar.”

Technological advances in the company’s three plants have also decreased factory emissions by 75 percent, while reducing energy usage.

“Caring for the environment improves our communities,” Duane Grant, chairman of Amalgamated Sugar’s board. “That is important to our growers and employees.”

“The ability to raise a quality sugar beet crop and the capacity to process that crop requires highly-skilled, dedicated people and cutting-edge technology on the farm and in the factories. Without these competitive advantages, we would not have the sustainable agricultural practices or efficient factory operations we have today.” John McCreedy, Amalgamated Sugar Co. CEO and president
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