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Wet weather means longer beet harvest

Wet weather has prolonged the sugar beet harvest longer than most years, according to an area farmer. "With all the rain that we've had since the first of October, you know, that's what makes beet harvest tough. It makes it tough on equipment, it...

Wet weather has prolonged the sugar beet harvest longer than most years, according to an area farmer.

"With all the rain that we've had since the first of October, you know, that's what makes beet harvest tough. It makes it tough on equipment, it makes it tough on all the employees that are out there being with the mud," said sugar beet farmer Robert Drees.

A wet October made fields too soggy for beet harvest trucks, forcing three shutdowns of American Crystal Sugar and making a 10-day harvest last 25 days.

"It would be one of our longest, we've actually had two that were longer, one in 1997 that I remember and then one about 5 or 6 years ago," said Drees.

American Crystal typically shuts down during the harvest for one of three reasons, Drees said.

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"Either it gets too warm, too cold or it rains and it's too muddy," he said.

Even though it shut down three times in the 25-day harvest, Drees said that is good compared to previous years.

"There's some years where, you know, you'll shut down two or three times a week," he said.

Drees also said that because of a glut in the sugar market American Crystal Sugar has notified all sugar beet growers that they will be paid less than in previous years.

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREWEATHER
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This piece was written for Prairie Business, which covers business in the Dakotas and Minnesota. To receive a free digital edition each month, see the instructions at the bottom of this story.