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Published September 14, 2009, 09:56 AM

Montana beet growers expect above average harvest

Sugar beet growers in Montana say they’re having a sweet season.

By: The Billings Gazette, Grand Forks Herald

BILLINGS, Mont. — Sugar beet growers in Montana say they’re having a sweet season.

Profits are at a 28-year high — with prices nearing $50 a ton — thanks in part to a world sugar shortage. Mike Hoffer with Western Sugar Cooperative says farmers in the Billings area are seeing a bumper crop, with an average yield of 31 tons per acre.

Not all farmers in the Western Sugar Cooperative are faring so well. Hoffer says more than 60 percent of the farmers in Colorado and Nebraska had crops damaged by hail.

The world sugar shortage has been driven by drought in India and cane sugar ethanol production in Brazil.

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