The damage is showing in beets that were harvested and piled before the devastating Oct. 9 freeze, Reed said. Rim damage refers to beets on the outside of piles that froze as hard as beets in the field, then have since thawed and frozen again as the …
Deteriorating piled beets rushed from receiving stations to factoryWestern Sugar Cooperative officials have again halted growers from digging beets in the Lovell district while they try to process beets that are deteriorating in piles at receiving stations.Glen Reed, a Cody area beet grower and president of the Big Horn Basin Sugar Beet Growers Association, said co-op officials announced in a telephone conference call Monday afternoon that beet piles are showing hot spots and rim damage and “they have to process some of that.”
The damage is showing in beets that were harvested and piled before the devastating Oct. 9 freeze, Reed said. Rim damage refers to beets on the outside of piles that froze as hard as beets in the field, then have since thawed and frozen again as the weather fluctuates.
The dig will resume only if those piles can be stabilized and all the damaged beets processed, he said.
“The weather's been working against us as usual,” Reed said.
The ground freezes overnight, and it's not warm enough during the day to thaw it out before the next night. Weather forecasts call for much colder weather by the end of the week, he noted.
When the sugar beets on the outer edges or “rim” of a pile freeze, it can cause them to slough, which can restrict air flow to the rest of the pile. That can lead to the “hot spots” now being detected in piled beets, which are the priority deliveries to the Lovell factory now, Reed said.
Western Sugar growers have been struggling to bring in the sugar beet crop since an Oct. 9 frost damaged fields across the Big Horn Basin. Coop officials placed growers under an allotment, or quota, system that allowed them to dig 1.2 tons per contracted acre over each seven-day period, although the dig has been suspended several times. Reed said the quota system will continue until the harvest ends, “but no one's digging now.”