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They create the stuff of magic, equated with deliciousness. And they could make or break a family business.
Sugar beets are a mainstay crop in Wyoming. But in northern Wyoming, where the growing conditions are optimal, farmers who grow sugar beets are facing a hardship like they’ve not seen in generations.
Between a hard frost last fall that left sugar beets frozen in the ground and mounting costs for renovations in other factories in the Western Sugar cooperative, sugar beet growers in the Bighorn Basin are facing a grim financial future.
That’s according to Kurt Dobbs, the agronomist and field representative for the Bighorn Co-op in the northern half of the Bighorn Basin.
“The farmers around this area, they grow really good beets and are very good at yield,” he pointed out. “But it’s been three years in a row that they haven’t received the money that they need to receive for their crop.”
The growers in the Bighorn Basin are part of the Western Sugar Cooperative, which has factories in Lovell, Billings, Montana, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Fort Morgan, Colorado.
The Lovell producers farm over 16,000 acres of beets collectively, according to Casey Crosby, a fourth-generation sugar beet grower in Cowley.
Crosby, who also has a masters degree in business, said the economic hit of crop losses to the local communities could exceed $14 million.
“It’s a challenging time in agriculture in general, but right now, with the issues we’ve had with our co-op, and then the weather on top of that, it’s crippled a lot of farmers,” he said.
Those issues include bad weather in two of the last three years. In between, when the harvest should have yielded a payment, Crosby said the profit went to offset costs in other areas of the Western Sugar Cooperative.
Rodney Perry, the Denver-based CEO of Western Sugar, said that the organization is working with the USDA on a disaster relief program that may provide area farmers with some much-needed assistance.
Perry noted the program is similar to the federal government’s WHIP assistance fund (Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus), which provides disaster payments to offset losses from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms and wildfire.
Crosby said the assistance could mean the difference in whether or not many growers will be able to farm next year.
Crosby is one of the lucky ones – of the 4,000 acres that he farms with another local grower, only 700 of those acres are planted in sugar beets. But as Dobbs pointed out, there are many other farmers whose livelihoods depend on the sugar beet crop.
“The farmers have to get paid for their sugar beets and they haven’t been,” Dobbs said. “So if that continues, you will see farmers going bankrupt.”
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February 21, 2020 at 03:24PM
Written By: Ann Bailey
HILLSBORO – American Crystal Sugar Co. in Hillsboro apparently has finished slicing sugar beets, about three and half months earlier than it typically completes the campaign.
The company posted on its Facebook page Wednesday, Feb. 5, that the Hillsboro factory finished slicing at 3:05 p.m, Monday, Feb. 3. Calls were made by the Herald to American Crystal Sugar Co. to confirm the information, but those calls were not returned.
Typically the company’s slicing campaign at its five factory districts lasts until the middle of May and, less frequently, until June. About 3,000 farmers in the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota grow sugar beets for American Crystal, which is based in Moorhead.
American Crystal factories in the North Dakota towns of Hillsboro and Drayton and the Minnesota cities of East Grand Forks, Crookston and Moorhead operate 24 hours a day during the slicing campaign, producing 150 pounds of beet sugar per second, according to the company website. Each processing season’s total sugar production is about 3 billion pounds. The company also produces about 800,000 tons of other agricultural products during its annual sugar campaign.
The Hillsboro factory slices 2.5 million tons of sugar beets annually during an average annual slice campaign of 260 to 275 days. The factory, on average, produces 8.5 million hundred-pound bags of sugar annually, the website said.
Meanwhile, the Hillsboro factory, built in 1973, employs 225 workers year-round and another 55 during the sugar beet campaign, according to the website.
In 2019, it was clear by November that slicing the beets would not take as long as it does most years. From the onset of the 2019 harvest, wet, muddy conditions hampered farmers’ harvest efforts. In early November, American Crystal told farmers to stop harvesting sugar beets because they had been damaged by unseasonably cold temperatures that left the crop unsuitable for storage.
About one-third of the cooperative’s acres – 115,000 acres – were left in the field in 2019. A good share of that acreage was in the fields of farmers who deliver their beets to the Hillsboro and East Grand Forks factory districts.
Farmers who grow sugar beets for American Crystal Sugar harvested a total of 7.7 million tons in 2019, 36% less than the 11 million tons they harvested in 2018.
As a result of the reduction in the amount of sugar beets harvested this fall, farmers will be paid $37 per ton for the 2019 crop, $17.78 per ton less they were for the 2018 crop. Meanwhile, the company will subtract $3 in “unit retains” which are withheld as an equity contribution from members and historically repaid after seven years, according to a December 2019 story by Mikkel Pates, an Agweek reporter. Agweek and the Grand Forks Herald are owned by Forum Communications.
Besides the lower 2019 payment, farmers who were unable to harvest their sugar beets are required by American Crystal to pay it back at $343 for each unharvested acre.
https://ift.tt/39PDu56 Sugar Beet News |
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February 21, 2020 at 03:11PM
(FARGO, N.D.) – Amity Technology is proud to introduce its next advancement in sugar beet harvesting. The new, 2720 Sugar Beet Harvester offers several improvements and new features to make sugar beet harvest more efficient. This 12-Row harvester utilizes a higher volume scrub tower, Dynamic Chain Management, ISOBUS Active Depth Control, newly designed maintenance access doors and an option for larger tires or even, tracks.
Dan Younggren elected ASGA President
Washington, DC – On February 5, 2020, Dan Younggren of Hallock, Minnesota was elected President, Nate Hultgren of Raymond, Minnesota was elected Vice President, and LaMar Isaak of American Falls, Idaho was elected Treasurer of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association (ASGA) for 2020. The ASGA represents approximately 10,000 growers in eleven producing states. The three were elected by ASGA farmer board members from across the country who gathered for the ASGA annual meeting in Orlando, FL.
RUPERT — Colorful lights illuminated streets and music filled the air as a giant beet hovered above hundreds of people gathered on the Rupert Square during the city’s inaugural New Year’s Eve party.
“I think this is just awesome,” said Loni Statham, of Paul. “That’s why I’m here. I never do anything on New Year’s Eve and I’m usually asleep by 9 p.m. But this is Rupert’s inaugural New Year’s Eve party, and this will never happen again.”
“It’s really different for a small town to have an event like this,” said Pam Jones, of Rupert.
Jones’s daughter, Josslyn Jones, 10, described the scene as “really loud and bright.”
People bundled in heavy clothing, some wearing cardboard top hats and funky 2020 glasses, danced, sampled the wares at the beer garden or ate treats offered from vendors — until the beet, spotlighted by multicolored lights and lit from within, was lowered.
The beet was constructed of steel and weighs about 1,500 pounds, according to Mike Christensen, owner of Christensen Machine Shop, where it was designed and built.
“It’s about time something like this is happening here in Rupert,” said Lowder. “It’s really great to see this city come back to life.”
Patty Knight, of Rupert, thought the party was “fabulous.”
“Rupert is the place to celebrate anything. People here know everyone and if you don’t know them, you just talk to them anyway,” said Knight.
Knight said she and her husband, Michael, both work at Amalgamated Sugar at the scale house during harvest. Amalgamated Sugar was one of the major sponsors of the event.
“We just had to come,” she said.
As midnight neared, Jonathan McEuen’s band, which had entertained the crowd with a repertoire of well-loved rock and country-rock music, began to slowly play the Star Spangled Banner as the beet began to drop behind the stage. During the last few seconds, the crowd chanted a countdown and yelled a greeting to the new year into the night air.
The city of Rupert capped the evening with a display of fireworks, which exploded over the Wilson Theatre, behind the stage.
Kerry and Melanie Bowen, of Declo, grow sugar beets and honoring the tuber seemed a fitting way to celebrate the new decade.
“It’s really nice of Rupert to work to generate this kind of excitement downtown and pay homage to the sugar beet, which played such a big role in the history of this area,” said Kerry Bowen.
Melanie Bowen said her favorite thing about the evening was the large sugar beet suspended from the crane.
“But the music has also been just awesome, and people have been so nice and polite,” she said.
Curt Knutson, of Fisher, Minn., chairman of the board of American Crystal Sugar Co., speaking at the annual meeting in Fargo on Thursday, Dec. 5, said "Sometimes we have to bear the brunt of a bad year." (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
FARGO — As a grower for American Crystal Sugar Co. and chairman of the co-op’s board, Curt Knutson tried to look for a bright side to a miserable year.
“The optimist says this is just a bump in the road of our history,” Knutson told American Crystal Sugar Co. shareholders gathered Thursday, Dec. 5, for an annual meeting after a harvest that is unmatched in difficulty because of a wet fall and untimely snow and freezes.
Tom Astrup, president and chief executive officer, spoke to a glum crowd of more than 800 at the Fargo Holiday Inn. The company’s payout is cut by 60% in payments — the result of a smaller payment on a much smaller crop.
Astrup acknowledged that “everybody” would lose money on beets this year, during a time when other crops, including potatoes, suffered as well. About 115,000 acres, or about a third, were left in the field, often with large yields of up to 35 tons per acre.
Knutson of Fisher, Minn., said farmers suffered an “unruly harvest” that left a third of the crop in the field. “Sometimes we have to bear the brunt of a bad year,” Knutson said, but he said the board had tried to do the right things to treat shareholders equitably.
Knutson stepped down after the meeting after serving his maximum terms on the board.
Andy Ford, president of Midwest Agri-Commodities Co., described how his company — a coalition since 1979 that includes American Crystal, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Co., and Michigan Sugar Co. — in the past year accounted for $7.25 of the payment of the 2018 crop payment. About half of the byproducts stay in the U.S., but the rest is exported. Beet pulp largely goes into cattle and pet food.
Astrup noted that the byproduct sales account for the entire profits for farms that are shareholders in the company.
Ronald Brownstein, senior political analyst for CNN and senior editor of The Atlantic magazine, was a guest speaker and didn’t sugar-coat the political landscape.
Brownstein described a “partitioning of the country” between blue and red, and joked that the American Crystal logo includes blue and red concentric circles that don’t touch. He said that no matter how the 2020 presidential election turns out, 49% of the country will feel will feel under siege from the other.
“I wonder if we’re heading toward the most political turmoil since the 60s,” he said. “The only question is whether it’s the 1960s or the 1860s,” referring darkly to the Civil War years. He said if people are in agriculture, they have to wonder whether they’ll live in a world of trade wars or trade agreements, depending on who wins.
Much of the news of the event came out earlier. Nov. 21 completed its last of five factory district meeting, projecting a payment of $37 per ton payment, a sharp reduction from the $54.78 per ton paid on the 2018. But this year’s payment is on 7.7 million tons, instead of the 11 million tons before. The company will subtract $3 in “unit retains,” an amount withheld as an “equity contribution” from members and historically repaid after seven years.
Astrup said the company would do about $90 million in capital improvements but would have spent more without the bad crop.
Farmers who could not harvest are being assessed “fixed costs” of $343 per acre on any unharvested acres, and some sources indicated the board will study whether that needs to be tweaked to make sure there is a full incentive to harvest in difficult times, as opposed to collecting crop insurance.
American Crystal markets sugar in a pool arrangement called United Sugars Inc., with three partners — Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, N.D., and U.S. Sugar Corporation, a cooperative based in Clewiston, Fla., and Wyoming Sugar Co. of Torrington, Wyo., which was added in the past year.
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December 18, 2019 at 12:05PM
Pat Freese, Kent, Minn., chairman of the board of Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, said the co-op is poised to turn upward after three tough payment years, including the 2019 impact of an early freeze. Photo taken Dec. 12, 2019, Fargo, N.D. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)
on Dec 16, 2019 at 12:51 p.m.
FARGO, N.D. — Pat Freese says he wants to return Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative to its status as a "shining star" in the sugar beet business.
Freese is the chairman of the board at Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, based in Wahpeton, N.D., which held its 47th annual meeting in Fargo on Dec. 12.
The co-op announced a $27.12 per ton beet payment, withholding $2 per ton as a "contingency," leaving the payment at a "disappointing" $25.12 per ton. Minn-Dak typically plans to end slicing beets May 20, but now expects to be done at the end of March.
After two tough years due to processing issues, the co-op brought in only 70% of the beets of their planned tonnage, driving down revenues by $18 million.
A farmer from Kent, Minn., Freese told a large crowd of shareholders that the co-op has reinvested in its infrastructure, despite the fact that some members are questioning the co-op's viability.
"Did we take our eye off the ball? Did we miss the opportunity to invest in our operations at a time when the means were available? Are we still a shining star?" Freese asked, rhetorically, but then vowed to meet every challenge going ahead.
$25.12 per ton
In the halls of the Fargo Holiday Inn, some growers privately grumbled that this year's payment to those at American Crystal Sugar Co. of Moorhead, Minn., at its annual meeting a week ago projected a $37 per ton payment on the 2019 crop. But they also acknowledged that the two co-ops — which sell sugar and byproducts cooperatively — have different systems for accounting for costs and transportation.
Minn-Dak Farmers members planted 101,000 acres and about 94,000 acres were harvested, for a 22 tons per acre average yield. Co-op members harvested about 93% of their acres, but the "field loss" on the "last 20% harvested" was very significant.
"We were allowing them to pull frozen beets out of frozen ground," explained Kurt Wickstrom, president and chief executive officer. "In some cases, we had 40% to 50% yield loss. ... They were going into fields where the yields could have been 30 tons per acre and only delivering 15 tons, due to tough harvest and yield conditions."
The co-op had expected 2.85 million tons of production, but brought in 2.1 million tons, which is a 30% reduction.
Freese acknowledged that the board had a stressful meeting on Halloween night, when they debated for three hours on whether to impose $455 per acre of fixed costs on acres that went unharvested. "It gave a little more of a carrot in order to potentially get more acres harvested," Freese said.
On brighter notes, Wickstrom described the near-culmination of a three-year spate of investment in people, plant and processes. The co-op is pleased with gains on extraction, nearing the goal of 9,500 tons per day, but needs to increase through-put and evaporation capacities. Significantly, the co-op invested $6.5 million to replace an outdated evaporator, a major piece of equipment in the factory, which will be online in mid-January.
"If we would have had, or if next year we have an average crop — and eight-year Olympic average is about 28 tons per acre — and our sugar content is 17%, it paints the path forward to profitability for most of our growers."
Wickstrom said the company has made major investments in their factory to target 9,500 tons of beets per day with high sugar extraction levels.
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December 18, 2019 at 12:05PM
BURLEY, Idaho — A procession of insects can infest sugar beets throughout the growing season, and knowing which might hit, and when, can give growers a leg up on controlling them.
Plants are most susceptible to damage early in the season when seedlings are small, Erik Wenninger, an entomologist at the University of Idaho, told growers during the Snake River Sugar Beet Conference.
Sugar beets can tolerate a good amount of foliar damage later in the season, but they’re highly susceptible to insects in April and May, he said.
In a seasonal timeline of insects, wireworms and cutworms are the primary threat to seedlings, he said.
Wireworms favor cool, wet springs and typically feed on plants early in the season. They feed on the roots and cause damage that can kill seedlings and reduce stands, and they can have a five-year lifespan in the soil, he said.
Cutworms are the larvae of night-flying moths, and there are lots of species. They can cause a lot of damage, killing seedlings and reducing stands, he said.
Beet leafminers are next in line. They seem to be appearing earlier than they used to, showing up in mid-May. They reduce photosynthesis and with a high enough population can kill seedlings, he said.
The sugar beet root maggot typically shows up in the area in May. It cuts through the root of the seedling in the early season and causes scarring on the root in mid-season. It stops feeding in July, he said.
Lygus bugs are a mid-season pest, preferring hot, dry weather. Similar to aphids, they suck sap from the plant that causes distortion and discoloration and leads to necrosis. They appear sporadically in potatoes and feed on seed crops, he said.
The beet leafhopper is a similar mid-season pest, sucking sap from the plant. It doesn’t cause a lot of direct damage, but it transmits the beet curly top virus. It’s usually seen mid-May to mid-July, but the timing of its appearance depends on weather, he said.
Dryness in the desert, where the insect overwinters, causes it to move to new host plants, he said.
“So timing in sugar beets varies. The earlier the infection, the more severe the symptoms,” he said.
Webworms and loopers are next, typically seen in mid to late season. The larvae are similar to caterpillars and cause defoliation damage, he said.
Spider mites infect sugar beets about the same time. They cause stippling and bronzing of leaves that reduce photosynthesis, he said.
“They feed on just about any crop in Idaho and weeds as well,” he said.
Rounding out the season are the sap-sucking bean aphid and sugar beet root aphid. The bean aphid shows up about mid-July. It causes curling and yellowing and produces honeydew, which causes a sooty mold on leaves, he said.
“It’s much more of a concern if it’s carrying a beet virus,” he said.
The root aphid feeds on the roots, which limits water and nutrient uptake, affecting yield. It’s very much a late-season pest, showing up in late July or early August, he said.
“Basically, we have insects attacking sugar beets throughout the season,” he said.
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December 18, 2019 at 12:04PM
FARGO, N.D. — Mike Warner has a message for farmers with contractual problems: Stick to your principles, stick together.
And don’t give up if your cause is just, keep going, even if you’re fighting “city hall.”
Warner, 69, was a Hillsboro, N.D., farmer in 1981, when a freeze hit sugar beet farmers, much like in 2019.
Sometimes, farmers delivered frozen beets to their recently-formed cooperative — American Crystal Sugar Co. — but the beets wouldn’t store well. They were denied crop insurance compensation when the beets deteriorated.
Warner, then 31, was president of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. In that role, he helped challenge the Federal Crop Insurance Corp., winning what was then the first successful legal challenge of its type.
FCIC said it believed that once the company took possession of the beets, the agency had no liability. “We said the company is ‘us,’ the company accepted the beets, and attempted to mitigate the loss,” Warner said.
Local crop insurance agents had made improper guarantees that farmers would get paid, even if they delivered.
The RRVSGA organized farmers to sue the FCIC and after five years, they won an appeal worth about $6 million (about $15 million in today’s dollars).
A newer co-op
A bit of history: An American Crystal Sugar Co. predecessor company opened the first plant in the Red River Valley in 1926 at East Grand Forks, Minn., with subsequent plants at Moorhead, Minn., (1948), Crookston, Minn., (1954), Drayton, N.D., (1965), and Hillsboro (1975).
On a parallel track, growers in 1935 had organized the RRVSGA, which negotiated annual contracts with the privately-held company. In 1973, the growers, RRVSGA spearheaded the purchase of the company as a farmer-owned “closed cooperative,” and a model that has taken over the entire U.S. beet industry. Growers paid $86 million and put in $13.8 million in improvements the first year.
In 1974, the co-op established its headquarters in Moorhead.
Historically, the former corporately-owned American Crystal played it safe — wanting to be done processing by mid-January. The new farmer-owned co-op wanted to process more beets, so planned for longer processing seasons.
The 1981 crop was eerily similar to 2019. It was the highest-yielding crop Warner had ever produced. From Oct. 21 to Oct. 25, 1981, the daily maximum temperature was mostly below freezing. Nighttime lows were less than 30 degrees for five days, and dipped to the teens on Oct. 23, after four episodes of significant rain.
Co-op shareholders insisted on delivering freeze-damaged beets, but the co-op didn’t know for sure how they would store.
Warner recalls that about 40% of growers had purchased federal crop insurance, which then was sold by individual crop insurance agents. Many of the agents had made improper, misinformed “guarantees.” “Guys were delivering and had been told, ‘Don’t worry, you’re covered by insurance,'" he said.
But the frozen beets didn’t store well. Melting sugar beet piles released thousands of gallons of sugar water into the ditches. Some sugar content went into American Crystal’s wastewater ponds.
Warner was tasked to meet in Washington with top FCIC officials, who wouldn’t budge on the insurance claim. With millions of dollars at stake, Warner worked with Morris Dickel, a Crookston, Minn., lawyer and counsel to the RRVSGA, as well as Faegre & Benson LLP in Minneapolis, to take the beet growers' case to federal court.
The FCIC argued that their liability ended when American Crystal took possession of them.
The shareholders took the position that 1) they’d been badly misinformed on the coverage, and in different degrees; and 2) the farmers didn’t pass ownership to some private, third-party enterprise.
“The processing was merely another piece of machinery that the farmers themselves owned, to make sugar with,” Warner recalls. They argued that they’d “mitigated” whatever losses the FCIC had.
The growers won on appeal. In his office at Oxbow, N.D., Warner keeps a copy of the $4.7 million check that the association initially received, with a note from Dickel: “Who says you can’t beat City Hall?” The money was distributed to the farmers who had not gotten their payments. “I signed every check that went to every one of those several hundred growers,” Warner recalls.
The RRVSGA went on to be helpful for beet producers, including in developing the federal beet sugar program that protects U.S. producers from excessive imports, especially from sugar subsidized by foreign governments. He said today’s crop insurance programs are more developed than they were 38 years ago, and today are a more integral part of the revenue safety net for farmers.
“The little guy won this time, and he was on just, defensible ground and justice was served out,” Warner recalls. “The tragedy of it was … this was the beginning of the depths of the 1980s farm crisis. There were men who needed that money immediately, and — to be honest with you — had to give up farming for lack of the income they so badly needed from that.”
Since the RRVSGA, Warner went on to be on the boards of American Crystal Sugar Co. (1989-1996), and Dakota Growers Pasta Co., a co-op that was sold to a corporation. He was the 2003 North Dakota Agriculturist of the Year. The same year, he closed down United Spring Wheat Processors, (“Spring Wheat Bakers”) a co-op he chaired that failed because of marketing and production/technology issues.
In 2004, Warner worked with his son, Alex, who to establish Pedigree Technologies LLC, a company that now employs 80, developing software to help companies track, monitor and diagnose fleets and high-value assets, as well as collaborate with mobile workers.
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December 17, 2019 at 01:42PM
By Jenny Schlecht | AgWeek
Hillsboro, N.D., sugar beet farmer Jason Siegert surveys what would have been one of his best beet crops but had to be shredded to prepare for next year's crop. American Crystal Sugar Co. halted the harvest Saturday, Nov. 9, with about one-third of the crop left in the fields. Photo by Eric Hylden / Forum News Service
on Dec 16, 2019 at 4:52 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Agriculture producers affected by severe weather may be eligible for another $1.5 billion in disaster funding under a bill under consideration in Congress. Other provisions in the bill could help sugar beet producers and others affected by unusual 2019 conditions.
Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chair John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the bill, which provides funding on top of the more than $3 billion already available under Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, will be taken up by both the House and Senate this week and has support in both chambers.
Congress this summer passed a bill to provide $3 billion through Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, or WHIP+, to eligible producers who suffered eligible crop losses resulting from floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, and wildfires that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency was tasked with paying out half of the $3 billion, then waiting until the end of the year to determine how much the total need was and prorating additional claims.
But with all the wild weather in 2019, Hoeven said the $3 billion didn't seem likely to be enough.
"Clearly, the need out there is more than we anticipated," Hoeven said in a phone call on Monday, Dec. 16. "I'm hoping they won't have to" prorate payments.
The additional $1.5 billion, a statement from Hoeven's office explained, comes from unspent fiscal year 2017 disaster funding.
But the bill in Congress is more than just additional disaster funding; it also contains language to try to help producers caught in a number of unusual situations given the wild weather of 2019.
For instance, language was added to assist sugar beet producers in the Red River Valley who had a historically bad beet harvest. Hoeven and House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., have been advocating for additional assistance for sugar beet producers who face substantial losses after severe weather prevented them from harvesting their crop.
Both American Crystal Sugar and Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative have announced that their farmers will be paid less per ton than in recent past years to make up for fewer beets to process. Additionally, farmers in American Crystal and Minn-Dak who were unable to harvest their beets are being assessed per-acre charges to cover the respective cooperative's fixed costs.
Hoeven said the language in the bill would provide payments to the sugar beet cooperatives. Then, the cooperatives could distribute the money in an equitable manner to producers. If a producer spent an extraordinary amount of money harvesting beets, they could be compensated to make the situation more equitable with producers who did not harvest and then received more crop insurance than the producers received for harvesting, Hoeven said.
Other language in the bill allows crop insurance and WHIP+ to take into account quality issues — rather than just quantity — when determining eligibility for payments. Hoeven said that is particularly important in crops like wheat, which producers may have been able to combine but was damaged by excess rain or other adverse conditions. He said the bill also clarifies eligible disaster events by including losses related to excess moisture and extreme drought.
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December 17, 2019 at 01:01PM