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Western Sugar begins early harvest

Western Sugar begins early harvest
Sugar beets at the Western Sugar beet dump in Scottsbluff. KNEB/RRN/Guzman

Fall is around the corner, but harvest time has started in with early harvest for sugar beets, which began Sept. 4.

“We got kicked off smoothly,” said Michael Relka, agronomist at Western Sugar. “We look to pile during the weekdays for the next several weeks until regular harvest starts.”

For the next couple of weeks the sugar beets will be taken to the Torrington factory, where they will start slicing. The Scottsbluff factory is scheduled to begin slicing on Saturday, Sept. 15.

“We’ll ramp up early harvest a bit more, when it gets closer to that date, to feed this factory (Scottsbluff).” she said.

Unlike, regular harvest, early harvest allows only certain growers to dump beets at the factory.

Relka said, the growers have had pretty good luck with only a few producers having breakdowns.

“We’re piling quite a few beets and are off to a good start,” she said.

For early harvest the factory will take sugar samples every couple of days. Yesterday’s average was 15.63, which is pretty decent for this time of year according to Relka.

During regular harvest the sugar is taken daily. The projected sugar average for the end of the harvest is 17.7.

Early harvest will run into regular harvest, which is scheduled for the first week in October.

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