Sugar refinery to run into February

2012-12-07T19:00:00Z 2012-12-07T19:52:15Z Sugar refinery to run into FebruaryBy TOM LUTEY The Billings Gazette Casper Star-Tribune Online
December 07, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

With beets piled high at area sugar dumps, Western Sugar Cooperative expects to refine sugar through the first of February.

Ending the sugar campaign around Feb. 1 would be an early finish, but refineries expecting a large beet crop fired up early last fall. The per-acre tonnage turned out to be average or slightly smaller than expected.

Farmers ended up getting just less than 28.8 tons per acre and 17.6 percent sugar in the beets, said Randall Jobman, Western’s North Country agricultural manager. “That’s average. The tonnage in Billings was off just a little.”

The Billings, Mont., refinery has already processed about 60 percent of the region’s beets. Western’s refinery in Lovell is cranking out sugar at a similar pace.

The refineries fired up Sept. 4, a very early start compared with previous years, when the cooperative began slicing beets in the middle of September just to prepare the refinery for October, when most farmers begin harvest.

The expected bumper crop of beets didn’t materialize, particularly in Wyoming, where farmers anticipated a record average of 30 tons an acre.

However, Montana farmers did harvest more beets than last year because they planted more acres. Montana sugar beet production was expected to be 1.3 million tons, a 16 percent increase from 2011. Farmers harvested 46,000 acres of beets, roughly 3,000 acres than the previous year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In Sidney, Mont., farmers harvested a record 27.8 tons an acre, said Russ Fullmer, of Sidney Sugars. The bumper crop will keep the refinery making sugar until the third week of February.

Statewide, farmers anticipated a large harvest until beet diggers broke ground in October, NASS reported. Estimates then dropped nearly a ton an acre, as farmers realized the final month of crop growth hadn’t been ideal.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Untitled Document

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps...

  1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

  2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

  3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

  4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

  5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editors@trib.com, or call Editor Jason Adrians at 266-0545 or Content Director David Mayberry at 266-0633. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

  6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

  7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

  8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Featured Businesses

Latest Offers