Early harvest of the sugar beet crop has been underway since Sept. 4. The weather has been mild and hot, but the beets haven’t been affected.
“Weather doesn’t really affect us in early harvest, as we only purchase enough beets to say ahead of the factory,” said Jerry Darnell, Western Sugar vice president of ag for the South Region.
The early harvest is proceeding well. Western Sugar has purchased 100,000 tons of beets, they are averaging 16.1 sugar and a 1.2 slm (sugar lost to molasses).
Early harvest will wrap up in the next couple and regular harvest will begin Saturday Oct. 6.
“We’ll open all eight receiving stations here in Nebraska and southeast Wyoming and run regular operating hours, seven days a week,” Darnell said.
The Torrington Sugar Factory is also up and running and has been budgeted to run 120 days.
Weather for the regular harvest looks to have a cooler October, which is always a good sign for sugar beets.