Rain halts valley beet harvest
The rain that started across the Red River Valley Sunday shut down the sugar beet harvest by Monday with about half the crop in. It also halted the harvest of dry edible beans and soybeans, which had made lots of progress the past week. American ...
The rain that started across the Red River Valley Sunday shut down the sugar beet harvest by Monday with about half the crop in.
It also halted the harvest of dry edible beans and soybeans, which had made lots of progress the past week.
American Crystal Sugar Co. told growers Monday it wasn't taking in any beets until at least noon Wednesday because of wet fields. It reported a half-inch to an inch of rain had fallen in the five factory districts up and down the valley.
But the five processing factories continued their 24/7 schedule, turning beets into sugar, company spokesman Jeff Schweitzer said.
"We are at 51 percent of the harvest completed," Schweitzer said. "That's just an estimate. But we've taken in just over 5 million tons (of beets)."
Typically, the co-op harvests 10 million to 11 million tons of beets.
So far, the yield is running 24.5 tons per acre, on average, he said. That's below the record of 25.5 tons, but higher than long-term averages. Average yields have steadily increased in recent years.
There hasn't been a killing freeze yet, so the beets still could add some heft this week before they are dug out.
Full-bore harvest began Oct. 1 and is expected to continue until Oct. 14 or Oct. 21, depending on the weather.
Harvest in N.D.
Although American Crystal's 875 growers have the capacity to dig about 10 percent of the 420,000 acres of beets in any given day, delays from rain, and too-warm or too-cold temperatures are common.
"Things have gone well," Schweitzer said. "It's Oct. 6, and we've gotten half the crop in."
The same dry, warm conditions allowed farmers to harvest a third of North Dakota's dry edible bean crop the past week alone, including pintos and navies. By Sunday, 65 percent of the state's edible beans were harvested, about 10 percent behind average.
The soybean crop in North Dakota was 37 percent harvested by Sunday, compared with 52 percent on average, the past five years.
The potato crop was 80 percent harvested, which is about average.
The sunflower harvest had just started last week, with only 1 percent taken off, compared with 7 percent on average by Oct. 5. A killing frost, not expected until the end of this week, is needed to help dry down soybeans, sunflowers and corn, for harvest.
The corn crop made progress to maturity last week, with 63 percent mature, compared with 80 percent on average, the past five years by the same date.
No corn has been harvested yet. Typically, about 10 percent of the crop is off by this time of year.
The northeastern part of the state is the most above normal for seasonal precipitation, with 15.68 inches total from April 1 until last weekend, 1.63 inches ahead of normal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.
The western part of the state remains well behind normal rainfall for the season, with the west-central and southwestern parts 3 to 4 inches behind.
The east-central part of the state has gotten the most, with 17.18 inches total, which is 1.46 inches above normal. Normal is the average precipitation beginning April 1 from 1971-2000.
Despite reports of big rains in that area this summer, the southeastern area of the state is listed by USDA as being 0.55 inches behind normal, with a total of 15.03 inches of precipitation since April 1.
Harvest in Minn.
In Minnesota, 70 percent of the corn crop was rated mature by Sunday, compared with 86 percent in the five-year average by the same date.
Only 3 percent had been harvested by Sunday, compared with 11 percent on average, and 22 percent a year ago.
The USDA said 46 percent of the state's soybeans were harvested, compared with 50 percent on the same date on average. Only 10 percent of dry beans remain in the field, which is ahead of the average year.
Sunflowers are 2 percent harvested.
The potato crop was 70 percent dug, about average.
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