Red River Valley Reports Strong Beet Harvest Despite Drought

Published online: Dec 07, 2021 News
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Source: WZFG 1100

Sugarbeet growers in the Red River Valley produced a strong harvest this year despite dealing with drought conditions for most of their growing season.

"The year started out very dry.  [It was a] positive of the spring; because it was dry, we were able to get to the fields early.  An early start with the sugarbeet crop is always important," says Brian Ingulsrud, vice president of agriculture at Moorhead, Minnesota-based American Crystal Sugar Company, the region's primary sugarbeet grower cooperative. 

Ingulsrud says this year's crop was the third-largest in the cooperative's history. Their growers harvested 11.8 million tons of sugarbeets. That compares to 10.1 million tons in 2020, and is well above 2019's total of 7.5 million tons. The sugarbeet industry generates an annual economic impact of roughly $2 billion dollars a year.  

Farmers in the cooperative grow their crops on about 600,000 acres across North Dakota and Minnesota.