Hail, rain impact bean crop, delays early beet harvest

It is hard not to welcome any slow, steady rain in the KNEB listening area, but the continued moisture in September is now interrupting harvest efforts.

Dave Dietrich with Stateline Bean says the good news is that 75% of the harvest is complete. The tough news is that hail south of Gering and in the East Haig area on the west side of the Scottsbluff National Monument has significantly damaged beans that were still out there.

Dietrich says he received several calls asking Stateline to "take a look and see if the crop is harvestable". He added there will be "serious quality concerns" for beans still on the ground when the storm came through Sunday night.

Dietrich says the beans that have been harvested are good quality, and the market remains up with a positive demand for the product.

Western Sugar's early harvest was postponed Monday and Ag Manager Jerry Darnell is hoping things will dry out and they can get started Tuesday. Darnell says the issue is the county roads are too wet to get the beets to the factory.

Darnell say new, more modern equipment allowed growers to bring 600 tons of beets to the factory. But they need 5,000 tons of beets a day to operate the Scottsbluff factory and another 5,000 ton daily to operate the Torrington factory.

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