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Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op begins 2022 pre-pile harvest

Farmers who grow sugarbeets for the cooperative in Wahpeton, North Dakota, started the pre-pile of their crop at 7 a.m. on Aug. 29.

Three buildings, a holding pond and four piles of sugarbeets are located at Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op in Wahpeton, North Dakota.
Fifty-year-old Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op in Wahpeton, North Dakota, started processing sugarbeets from the 2022 pre-pile harvest on Aug. 30, 2022.
Contributed / Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op
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WAHPETON, N.D. — Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op began processing the 2022 sugarbeet crop on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Farmers who grow sugarbeets for the cooperative in Wahpeton, North Dakota, started the pre-pile of their crop at 7 a.m. on Aug. 29. This year the cooperative plans to harvest 105,000 acres of sugarbeets.

During the pre-pile harvest, which runs until the main harvest begins in early October, farmers typically dig about 12% to 16% of the cooperative’s acreage, said Mike Metzger, Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op vice president of agriculture and research.

Green sugarbeet plants.
Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op in Wahpeton, North Dakota, began its pre-pile harvest on Aug. 29, 2022.
Ann Bailey / Agweek

The cooperative’s acre yields on the first day of the 2022 pre-pile harvest varied greatly, Metzger said.

“We’ve had reports of 15 tons and 28 tons,” he said. Minn-Dak estimates that yields for the stockpile harvest will average in the mid-20s.

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The cooperative’s southern region, where the bulk of its sugarbeets are grown, is dry and will need good rainfall to achieve that average, Metzger said.

In 2021, rains and warm weather in September and October added tonnage to the Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op sugarbeet crop. Production last year averaged slightly more than 32 tons per acre.

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Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: abailey@agweek.com or phone at: 218-779-8093.
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