By Susan Minichiello Sidney Herald | Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 8:00 pm
Terry Cayko of 6J Farms, Inc. won first place in the over 247 acre sugar beet farm category.
6J Farms, Inc. covers 374 acres, and is located in western North Dakota, close to the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. It is approximately eight miles north of Fairview.
Cayko was humble when he received the award at the Sidney Sugars sugar beet farmers luncheon Wednesday.
“It’s quite an honor. Winning the award for three consecutive years is something that I’ve never imagined,” Cayko said.
Cayko has been a sugar beet farmer his entire life.
“I just like the idea of being out there and just from the start, preparing the ground, and then taking them, planting them and watching them grow,” Cayko said. “It’s so pretty to watch the beets because it’s all beets. You don’t have any weeds...”
At 6J Farms, Inc., Cayko uses Roundup Ready Sugarbeets, which he said is the reason for less weeds.
“To take care of them, you have to be real timely in your sprays when you get out there,” Cayko said.
The challenges faced by 6J Farms, Inc. this season were similar challenges faced by other sugar beet farms in the area, including a wet spring and hail storms.
With a wet spring, Cayko had to be ready to plant the crop as soon as the ground was ready. He said it is not as difficult or slow to place crops as it used to be because of the advances of farm machinery.
After planting crops, Cayko said he “just watches” and “it’s all a matter of timeliness.”
Hail affected one part of his farm “pretty severely” this past season, but Cayko said it recovered.
Cayko acknowledged the sugar beet business is facing a bit of a struggle, as many businesses within the agriculture industry do with prices dipping.
“We went through these cycles once before, and we’ll get through ‘em,” Cayko said. “We always make it through. We just do. Sugar beet growers, they know sooner or later, that price will have a tendency to come back up.”
He remains positive about his business.
“As a farmer, that’s what we always do. We always look to the future,” Cayko said. “I would say that two, three years down the road, we’ll look for an upswing, and we’re always upbeat. That’s why we keep farming, because we love it.”