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Rainfall slows down region's beet harvest

First it was the heat, now rain has slowed the region's sugar beet harvest. In parts of the southern Red River Valley, farmers are bypassing sugar beet fields too wet to harvest, said Susan Johnson, spokeswoman for the Wahpeton-based Minn-Dak Far...

First it was the heat, now rain has slowed the region's sugar beet harvest.

In parts of the southern Red River Valley, farmers are bypassing sugar beet fields too wet to harvest, said Susan Johnson, spokeswoman for the Wahpeton-based Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative.

Rain on Thursday also stalled the beet harvest around Drayton, N.D., and other areas of the northern Red River Valley, said Tom Astrup, American Crystal Sugar Co.'s vice president of agriculture.

American Crystal's 3,000 shareholder-farmers are about 80 percent complete with this year's harvest, Astrup said.

The cooperative will harvest about 480,000 acres of beets this year.

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Johnson said Minn-Dak's growers have harvested less than 75 percent of their crop.

They're expected to harvest nearly 104,000 acres of beets this year.

While beet farmers aren't embracing recent rains, they're glad to see cooler temperatures settling in the region.

The cooler weather helps preserve beets piled at area storage stations.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Zent at (701) 241-5526

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