WORLAND, Wyo. — This year's sugar beet harvest in the Bighorn Basin set a record for tons per acre.
The average was just over 29.3 tons per acre, while sugar content was close to a record at 17.9 percent, according to Wyoming Sugar Vice President and Manager Vince Salzman.
"We had a really good harvest," Salzman said.
Some 300,000 tons of sugar beets were delivered to the four Wyoming Sugar receiving stations in Riverton, Midvale, Basin and at the factory yard in Worland.
The beets will be processed into 840,000, 100-pound bags of sugar, the Northern Wyoming Daily News reported.
Cargill markets the sugar to a broad base of customers in the West and Midwest.
"A little bit of everybody gets a taste of our sugar," Salzman said.
The harvest began Sept. 17. Warm weather limited the times when growers could deliver their beets. Early on, they delivered their beets in the morning and had to be done before temperatures warmed in the afternoon.
The idea is to keep the beets cool and sugar content as high as possible.
"We do it to manage the beet temperatures as they go in the pile so we reduce the losses as those beets store," Salzman said.
The factory should finish slicing beets between Christmas and New Year's, he said.