Heavy Rains Leave Sugar Beet Harvesters at a Standstill - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Heavy Rains Leave Sugar Beet Harvesters at a Standstill

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Greg Richards the Agronomy Manager at American Crystal Sugar says heavy rains and this year's first frost is painting a dire picture for farmers.

"As we go south in the Fargo-Moorhead area there's a lot of water standing in the fields and the growers in that area haven't been able to start harvest for about 10 days now. It's getting to be tough to wait it out."

Wasted time and the possibility of frozen fields spell out money loss for farmers who on average spend a $1000 per acre. Richards says,

"Once the beets freeze they are no longer fit for long term storage and at that point we can't except them."

However, weather conditions aren't the only thing slowing farmers down. Due to the wait, farmers will be scrambling to get their crops out the ground and needing critical help that unfortunately won't be there.

"Their harvest help, many of them take vacation to help them and those people had to go back to their real jobs."

So the race against the clock begins.

"It'll be a scramble. It will be a mad scramble."

Harvesting must be completed by mid November and so far 30 percent of southern valley crops are still in the ground. In the midst of murky weather, weary farmers are still looking for that silver lining in the clouds.

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