Western Sugar to Wrap Campaign This Week

Published online: Feb 14, 2019 News
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Source: Scottsbluff Star Herald 

The 2018-19 campaign at Western Sugar Cooperative’s Scottsbluff, Neb., factory will come to a close Monday, Jerry Darnell, Western Sugar’s vice president of agriculture-South region, said Wednesday.

Darnell said that re-hauls of beets from the Hemingford station will wrap up Thursday, and he expects the remaining beets in the Scottsbluff yard will be finished on Monday.

“We’re right where we want to be, but probably about a week ahead of normal,” Darnell said.

The campaigns at Western Sugar’s Montana and Wyoming factories have also finished a week early.

Darnell said Western Sugar’s Torrington, Wyoming, factory is processing stored syrup into sugar, and Scottsbluff will begin processing its stored syrup starting next week.

The 2018 harvested sugar beet crop in Nebraska was estimated at 1.41 million tons, down 2 percent from last year, according to data released Feb. 8 by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic’s Service (NASS). Yield is estimated at a record high 31.9 tons per acre, up 0.1 ton from the previous year. Acres harvested are estimated at 44,100 acres, down 2 percent from the previous year. Acres planted, at 45,500 acres, is down 600 acres from last year. In Wyoming, the sugar beet crop was 946,000 tons for 2018, according to NASS data, up 6 percent from the 891,000 tons produced in 2017. Producers harvested 30,700 acres in 2018, down 31,600 acres in 2017. Average yield is estimated at 30.8 tons per acre, 2.6 tons per acre above 2017.

Western Sugar began contracting growers for the 2019 season on Wednesday, Darnell said.

“We’re finishing one and starting the next one,” he said.