Carbon County, Mont., Declares Disaster over Sugarbeet Harvest

Published online: Dec 04, 2019 News
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Source: Q2 News

Authorities in Carbon County, Mont., have officially declared a disaster after early frost and snow destroyed about 18 percent of the local sugarbeet crop.

That damage also brought a hard hit to the local economy.

Carbon County commissioners blamed two early-season snowstorms for stealing significant yield and quality from the sugarbeets.

The Southern Montana Sugarbeet Growers Association estimates that, of the sugarbeets harvested, about 1 percent of the sugar content was lost.

The association also estimates payments to growers will be about 58.5 percent of what they had projected.

Ervin Schlemmer, who's been farming the area since 1972, says this is the worst beet damage from weather he has ever seen.

He says because they operate as a co-op, growers have ownership in the sugarbeet plant, so they share in the loss from the farm and from the factory.