During Monday's snow storm, beets were loaded for transport to Worland.

County sugar beet harvest about 2/3rds complete; Sugar content down, but tonnage is up; Weather hampered growers

Sugar beets from the Midvale Receiving Station of Wyoming Sugar Company were loaded onto trucks for transport Monday to the sugar refinery in Worland. This latest snow storm halted the local harvest again. (Ernie Over photo) 

Fremont County sugar beet crop “tremendous” with high sugar content

Fremont County’s 2011 sugar beet harvest was termed “tremendous” by Wyoming Sugar Company’s Ag Director Myron Casdorph in  Worland.“It was very good this year and the cooler spring weather and nitrate fertilizer control by the growers resulted in a high sugar content, better than what we got here in the Big Horn Basin,” Casdorph said. The sugar content of the local crop averaged a high 17 percent. “The beets in the Midvale area had the best sugar content, averaging 18 percent, and it was a bit lower in the Riverton area, bringing the average down a bit,” he said.While the sugar content of the beets was higher here, Casdorph said the yield per acre trailed the Big Horn Basin, due primarily to a somewhat shorter growing season in Fremont County. “We averaged about 23 ton per acre in Fremont County on about 1,600 acres,” he said, “so with a price of $60 per ton, that turns out about to be about $1,500 per acre.”The number of Fremont County’s sugar beet growers is greatly reduced from years past, and in the last season, there were 10 growers supplying sugar beets to Wyoming Sugar.

Sugar beets from Fremont County are trucked to the Worland refinery where they are processed into sugar, beet pulp for animal feed and molasses.