MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — It’s been a bitter harvest for many Minnesota and North Dakota sugar beet farmers.
Nearly a third of the crop in some parts of the two states is stuck frozen in the fields — where it’ll be left to rot — after a wet October delayed the harvest until the weather turned too cold and the ground froze.
Insurance will cover only part of farmers’ losses.
Minnesota is the largest sugar beet-growing state in the nation, and North Dakota is the second-largest. The two states account for 60% of U.S. sugar beet production, and beets account for more than half of the sugar produced in the U.S. every year.
American Crystal Sugar has already ended its fall sugar beet harvest in the Red River Valley.
KFGO-AM reports the Moorhead-based cooperative ended its harvest on Saturday.
American Crystal has not released the number of acres that were not harvested. The co-op has five processing plants in the Red River Valley.
Melting water from an early snow last month has aggravated flooding from heavy rains in September and October, leaving many sugar beets frozen into place.