Sugar Beet Harvest & SURE Signup
The Munn farm near Prosser is one of the few remaining farms in Washington to grow sugar beets for sugar extraction, thanks in part to the closing of the state’s only two sugar refineries at the time in the late seventies. The beets being harvested there are often big enough to have been used to carve small jack-o-lanterns. Ryan Munn expounds.
MUNN: Beets that we grow here are from the three to five pound range, and roughly two feet long.
Munn says that this sugar beet crop has been in the ground since March and that harvest is generally done the last half of October in order to keep them in the ground the longest amount of time possible, as this greatly increases the beets sugar content. After being harvested beets are stored on the farm in a pile large enough to be considered a small hillside until they are transferred by semi-truck to a sugar processing plant in Idaho. Munn says that on average an acre of sugar beets can make roughly eleven thousand pounds of sugar.
The Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program provides assistance to producers who have suffered crop losses due to natural disasters. The signup for SURE opened October 22, and continues through June 7, 2013. Weather related crop losses suffered during the 2011 crop year, which ended September 30th, are covered by SURE for eligible producers. For more information contact your local Farm Service Agency.
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