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Published December 08, 2009, 08:15 PM

Northern Wyoming sugar beet harvest done

Cold weather has put an end to the sugar beet harvest in northern Wyoming's Big Horn Basin, leaving about 30 percent of the crop in the ground.

POWELL, Wyo. (AP) — Cold weather has put an end to the sugar beet harvest in northern Wyoming's Big Horn Basin, leaving about 30 percent of the crop in the ground.

Ric Rodriguez, of the Western Sugar Cooperative board of directors, says co-op and grower representatives agreed last Friday to stop the harvest.

Rodriguez says beets still in the field are already in bad condition, and the latest cold spell is enough to freeze the entire root and render the beets unsuitable for processing into sugar.

Many growers in the Big Horn Basin were anticipating a record crop until severe frost hit in early October just as the harvest was beginning and damaged the crop. The federal government is considering a disaster declaration because of the freeze damage.

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