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Tribune Staff

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, area farmers were counting their losses after an early October freeze devastated the sugar beet crop.

This year, those farmers are thankful for a successful harvest as beets are safely out of the ground, piled, dusted with a fresh snow and awaiting processing.

The harvest is ending on a good note, but it didn't start out that way.

In May, severe spring weather threatened the crop, forcing some farmers to replant.

On the heels of 2009's devastating year, it was a discouraging start. As one Heart Mountain farmer said last spring: “I hope it's not a preamble to the fall.”

Thankfully, the sour beginning didn't ruin what ended up to be a season of sweet success.

Though farmers can breathe a sigh of relief at the close of this harvest, the sugar beet industry remains in limbo. The future of sugar beet production is far from secure.

A federal judge issued an order in August halting the planting of Roundup Ready sugar beets until the U.S. Department of Agriculture completes an environmental impact study. For local farmers and those across America who have come to depend on Roundup Ready seed, the ruling could have significant, widespread impact.

However, a USDA plan announced recently may partially lift the ban on the genetically-modified seed, though it's unclear whether it will come in time for next year's beet crop.

If USDA's efforts are unsuccessful and the ban stands, its effect could be catastrophic. Park County ranks No. 1 in the state for sugar beet production, and the vast majority of those beets are of the Roundup Ready variety.

To completely halt its production could cripple the farming industry, and by extension, the local economy.

We hope Powell farmers can enjoy many more successful beet seasons in future years — but for now, that rests in the courts' hands.

(Dec. 21, 1913 – Nov. 9, 2010)

Alice T. Huffman of Basin died at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home between Basin and Greybull, early Tuesday morning, Nov. 9, 2010. She was 96.

(Sept. 24, 1940 – Nov. 12, 2010)

Alberta Jeanne Storeim, 70, of Greybull died Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 at Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home between Basin and Greybull.

(April 6, 1943 - Nov. 7, 2010)

Robert J. “Sam” Bass died Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 at St. Vincent's Healthcare in Billings. He was 67.


Keller Paulson, a Northwest College freshman from Casper, performs a timpani solo during “In Flight” for the Northwest College Choir and Band concert in the Nelson Performing Arts Auditorium Tuesday evening. Tribune photo by Kara Bacon


Washington bound

Before it stands at the U.S. Capitol, a 67-foot Christmas tree from Wyoming is making a few guest appearances in the Cowboy State. On Sunday, the official 2010 Capitol Christmas Tree makes a stop in Cody, where Park County residents will celebrate its arrival with holiday-themed festivities.

This is the first year Wyoming has contributed the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree.

No other infected herds have been found

Brucellosis has been confirmed in a Meeteetse area cattle herd where three cattle initially tested positive for the bacterial disease in late October.

So far, there is no indication that the disease has spread to surrounding herds in Park County, state Veterinarian Jim Logan said.
“Everything else we have results on so far has been negative,” Logan said Wednesday.

Park County residents and officials are getting their opportunity to weigh in on a Montana mine clean up plan that involves hauling tens of thousands of tons of gold tailings over the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.

Officials from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will be in Cody on Tuesday, Nov. 16, to discuss their clean up plans for the McLaren Mine outside Cooke City, Mont.


Defender Chad Braun battles for position in front of the Quake net during recent action against the Billings Bulls at Riley Arena. The two teams meet again at 7:30 p.m. this Friday in Cody. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Yellowstone Quake head coach Craig Furstenau is convinced his hockey team has started to turn the corner that had eluded it for a couple of weeks. Now, he just wishes they'd get a little more in the win column to show for it.

The Quake split games at Missoula, falling by a 4-3 count Friday before winning 4-2 on Saturday. The squad also suffered its fourth one-goal loss to Billings in as many meetings this season, losing 4-3 in a shootout against the Bulls.

Lesu earns libero of the year

Northwest College sophomore Valerie Lesu and freshman Sandrina Hunsel were named members of the All-Region team following the conclusion of the Region IX North volleyball tournament in Glendive, Mont., this past weekend. Hunsel, along with Trapper teammate Gianesi Tarafa, were also named to the All-tournament team.

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