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Warm temperatures not cool for start of sugarbeet harvest

The harvest, which was scheduled to begin Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, has been moved to the next week, weather permitting, at Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op, in Wahpeton, North Dakota, Southern Minnesota Beet Co-op in Renville, Minnesota, and in four of five American Crystal Sugar Co. factory districts.

Green sugarbeets.
Warm temperatures have delayed the start of the 2022 sugarbeet stockpile harvest across much of North Dakota and Minnesota.
Ann Bailey / Agweek
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Warm temperatures have delayed the start of the 2022 sugarbeet stockpile harvest across much of Minnesota and North Dakota.

The main harvest, which was scheduled to begin Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, has been moved to the next week, weather permitting, at Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op, in Wahpeton, North Dakota, Southern Minnesota Beet Co-op in Renville, Minnesota, and in four of five American Crystal Sugar Co. factory districts.

The warm daytime and nighttime temperatures forecast for the weekend of Oct. 1-3 are in the mid-70s and mid-50s, respectively, which are too warm for sugarbeet storage.

The stockpile harvest of American Crystal Sugar’s factory districts in Moorhead, Crookston and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, and in Hillboro, North Dakota, has delayed the start of the harvest until early on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 4, said Joe Hastings, American Crystal Sugar general agronomist.

Farmers in American Crystal Sugar's Drayton factory district, which is in northern North Dakota where daytime and nighttime temperatures are forecast to be cooler, planned to start digging sugarbeets late on the night of Sept. 30, Hastings said.

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Further south, in Wahpeton, North Dakota, Mike Metzger, Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op vice president of agriculture and research, said earlier in the week of Sept. 26, that the cooperative planned to delay the start of the stockpile harvest, which originally was scheduled for Oct. 1, until temperatures cooled. The exact date will be temperature-dependent.

Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Co-op in Renville, Minnesota, also was waiting for cooler days to start harvesting its sugarbeets. The original Oct. 1 launch date for the stockpile harvest was pushed back to Oct. 3 at 8 p.m., said Todd Gesleius, the cooperative’s vice president of agriculture.

The new stockpile starting dates at all three cooperatives could be further delayed if temperatures on those days are warmer than forecast, agriculturalists said.

Related Topics: SUGARBEETSAGRICULTURE
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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