The sugarbeet harvest across the Red River Valley came to an end in early November, leaving thousands of acres of crop unharvested. “It was an unprecedented year across the sugarbeet industry and certainly the Red River Valley was hit the hardest,” said Neil Rockstad, chairman, Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. Disaster assistance, in the form of WHIP+, is being developed for beet growers. USDA is working out the details, but the expectation is that dollars will be available. Rockstad says the goal is to move these funds through the cooperative, like American Crystal or Minn-Dak. “We’re all cooperatives; we all own the factories that produce the sugar. We’re the owners of the raw product and the end product and certainly there is the equity and fairness issue for those who harvested and those that were not able to harvest. They both accept a loss to a certain degree and we want to treat both fairly making it a very complex issue.”
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