Sugar beet harvest nearing conclusion
Tonnage and sugar
content near average
VALLEY – The stockpile sugar beet harvest in the northern Red River Valley is nearing its conclusion for the 2013 campaign.
According to Jeff Schweitzer, public relations manager with American Crystal Sugar Company based in Moorhead, harvest of the 2013 sugar beet crop was 84 percent complete as of Tuesday.
Several growing districts had to shut down in the past week due to heavy rains. Schweitzer said all remaining sites accepting beets were open as of noon Tuesday for deliveries.
The Drayton factory district was the farthest along with harvest as of Tuesday being 97 percent complete.
“The northern region has progressed nicely with harvest having missed some of the heavier rains,” Schweitzer said.
The past week has seen overnight temperatures below freezing and daytime temperatures up to 20 degrees below normal for mid-October.
“‘Were dealing with frost from overnight low temperatures so we are monitoring loads delivered to our piling sites,” Schweitzer said. “We are encouraging our shareholders to only harvest freshly topped beets.”
As of Tuesday, other progress reports showed the East Grand Forks growing district as 86 percent complete, followed by Crookston (80 percent), Moorhead (73 percent) and Hillsboro (72 percent).
The prospects of a decent harvest didn’t look that great prior to the pre-pile harvest that began in early September.
However, timely rains in late August and early September coupled with warm growing days improved the prospects of the crop considerably.
Schweitzer said the average yield of the crop should be around 24 tons-per-acre with a sugar content of 17 percent.