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FARGO — Sugarbeet farmers will be hitting the fields 24/7 when harvest starts this October. With harvest season just around the corner, sharing the road with harvest vehicles can be dangerous.
Harrison Weber, executive director for the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, says timing is everything for a successful harvest. They have two weeks to maximize their profits and gather the 11 million tons of sugarbeets they plant every spring.
"We have a narrow window before freeze-up," Weber said. "We can't start too early, when it's too hot, but we have a narrow window to get all the beets in."
The harvest adds more than 3,200 harvesting trucks to local roads for sugarbeets alone. Weber says every year, he tells drivers to slow down and turn on their headlights. He also stresses to his drivers the importance of keeping alert while they are on the road.
"'If you're getting sleepy behind the wheel, stop. Get out of that truck and get yourself refreshed,'" Weber said.
Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said crashes with beet trucks happen every year.
"There's always a danger that occurs on the road because we always have the larger trucks that are on the roadway operating at maybe a slower pace than most of the other traffic, because of the load of the sugarbeets that are in the truck," Empting said.
He stressed that people need to give the trucks extra space since they could turn into a field at any time.
"It's very important for people to use caution around those trucks, be mindful of the roadway, don't drive distracted and use some safe speeds," Empting said.
Another tip for sharing the road is to pull over on narrow roads to give truck drivers extra room.
Weber and Empting hope drivers will keep their advice advice in mind to help prevent more sugarbeet crashes as farmers head into harvest season.
Sugar Beet News |
via INFORUM https://www.inforum.com
September 29, 2020 at 05:11PM