Benefits of ALM® in a Sugarbeet Rotation

There are several benefits of applying Agriculture Liming Material (ALM) or Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) in a sugarbeet rotation, especially on fields with a history of Aphanomyces root rot. Research conducted by North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota observed the influence of 3-ton per acre and 10-ton per acre applications of PCC on sugarbeet fields with known infestations of Aphanomyces. Each lime rate increased the soil pH and improved the sugarbeet plant health, however the research indicated that pH neutralization may be quicker and the benefit to a reduction in Aphanomyces pressure may last longer from the 10-ton per acre rate versus the 3-ton per acre rate. Specific data from this research can be found in the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board Reports. Below are links to two of these research articles.

When will application of PCC benefit my operation?

If your field has a history of Aphanomyces root rot, or if you have a field or areas of a field that have a soil pH below 6.5, or if you have a field that has a questionable history of herbicides that carry over in low pH soil, PCC may benefit your sugarbeet operation.

What rate of PCC should I apply?

There is no specific rule of thumb answer for this question. Consider the cost of application, soil type, soil pH, severity of Aphanomyces, or other agronomic considerations and how long before planting your next sugarbeet crop on the field. The data suggests that 3-ton per acre may not be enough to manage tough Aphanomyces infestations.

When should PCC be applied in my crop rotation?

PCC should be allowed to neutralize the soil pH for one cropping season prior to the sugarbeet crop for which it is being applied. However, if a field has an issue with low pH, Aphanomyces, or low pH herbicide carryover, an application in the fall or spring immediately preceding the sugarbeet crop will benefit the crop versus no PCC application.

If I have already spread PCC on my field for a previous sugarbeet rotation, when do I need to reapply?

The answer to this question is not immediately clear, however here are a few guidelines. What rate of PCC has been applied to the field previously? The lower the original application rate was, the better chance of seeing a response by an additional PCC application. What is the soil pH of the field in comparison to before the previous PCC application? If the soil pH of the field begins to fall into a range of concern, then are application of PCC may be recommended.

Is SMBSC PCC “clean”?

Yes. The PCC (lime) is used to purify the beet juice during the sugar extraction process. The juice has been exposed to temperatures in excess of 180˚F and pH’s above 12. Thus, any fungal or viral pathogens existing in the beet juice having the potential to infect the PCC are effectively denatured or destroyed by these processes.

LOADING UPDATE | Nov 08, 2022

The east scale is open. PCC loading is open 24- 7 until further notice. We have observed some careless driving on the haul roads and east scale road. Please remind your drivers that they must share the road with other drivers and be courteous to others on the roads.
We are having quite a few drivers showing up not wearing hi-vis vests or clothing on SMBSC sites. ANY TIME A DRIVER EXITS THEIR TRUCK THEY MUST HAVE HI-VIS CLOTHING ON. Safety Compliance is required by everyone on SMBSC property.
An update on how to load at the pit. We need trucks to back up toward the loading area. Drivers must follow the instructions from the loader operator. Drivers should NOT get out of their trucks in the pit area if it can be avoided. Thank you for your cooperation.
Please be sure that your contact information is updated in the PCC program. Contact us at 320-329-4160, or 320-329-4130. Product at the pit may be damp and/or sticky. If this product will cause you problems please consider whether the PCC meets your needs. As a reminder overloaded trucks MUST go back to the loading area to remove product. No products of any type may be off loaded by the road or on the scale.

Thank You.


When picking up lime from the factory (vs. the pit), please advise truckers to be conscientious of pedestrians and the posted road signage (i.e. 15 mph, 5 mph/no dust zone, rail yard crossings and stop signs). Specifically, extreme caution should be taken when crossing any railroad tracks, including the single track leading to pellet lead-out which must be crossed in order to be loaded with lime. All drivers must wear Hi-vis safety apparel at all times and locations if they step out of their truck.

You will need to monitor the PCC condition if it is too damp for you do not take any. For loading conditions you may call the Tersteeg Loader at 320-522-1680


The current price for PCC is $0.00 per ton.

All PCC loads MUST be tarped before leaving the SMBSC scale.

Prior to purchasing, please be sure that your contact information is updated in SMBSC’s PCC program.

Contact us at 320-329-4160 or 320-329-4130

PCC Truck Traffic Directions

For safety, PCC Drivers must follow the route defined below.  The sign located in the East Scale House and the main factory scale will both indicate either loading at the PIT or PLANT.

When loading at the pit, all trucks will enter and leave on the pit road from 260th Street.

When loading in the plant, all trucks will enter the plant haul road just north of the railroad tracks on 260th Street. Trucks entering the plant should follow signs and turn right just after passing the fence when entering the factory grounds. This road will lead trucks up towards the lime screenings pile. This road has adequate space to allow trucks to line up and stay in order while waiting to be loaded. Once trucks are loaded, exit on the haul road on the north side of the railroad tracks.

Weight Restrictions

SMBSC complies with all the laws of the state of Minnesota including those pertaining to the legal load limits.  Our policy requires any overloaded truck be sent back to unload (or transload) a sufficient portion of their lading to bring the overall gross vehicle weight to a level compliant with the law.  No products of any type may be offloaded by the road or on the scale.  Weight documentation (a weight ticket) will not be issued until the vehicle’s load complies with legal requirements.

To save time, urge your drivers to comply prior to coming to the scale for their outbound weight.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements

All visitors to SMBSC are required to wear the following PPE while on SMBSC property:

  • high-visibility vest/coat and safety glass when outside your vehicle, and
  • hardhat and safety glasses when inside factory buildings.

Your cooperation and adherence to the rules are required and help support a safe workplace.

Field Storage Recommendations

As the producer of AgLime from processing sugarbeets, SMBSC provides an environmentally sound product that reduces the impacts of mining and conserves valuable resources.  This is a by-product and is subject to variations in ENP and moisture that our users should consider when applying to fields.  Our AgLime is occasionally stored on fields in preparation for post-harvest spreading and incorporation.  Field storage is an acceptable management approach and as producers we have stewardship responsibilities to provide some guidance regarding pile location.

AgLime derived from sugarbeet processing is moist and has some residuals that can cause odors when placed in a pile. The material is composed of uniform fine particles that maybe dispersed by strong winds or rain run off. For these reasons, SMBSC suggests that the location of a field storage pile be selected to minimize the impact on adjacent residences, schools, churches, hospitals, parks and playgrounds as well as wetlands, shorelines and waterways/ditches. SMBSC recommends the following setbacks as best management practices:

As a user of our AgLime product, your consideration for our neighbors and our environment is deeply appreciated.