The USDA will release $285 million to grower members of six cooperatives, including Western Sugar in Scottsbluff, who experienced losses in early April.
“Everything came through and all the WHIP+ payments will be mailed on April 8, so the growers should have those real soon,” said Jerry Darnell, Western Sugar vice president of ag for the South Region.
The sugar beet crop suffered hail and then two severe freezes in October 2019, which damaged crops, enough to where the cooperatives needed help.
On Feb. 28, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced additional disaster assistance available to agricultural producers, including sugar beet growers, through the USDA Wildfires and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus ( WHIP+).
The weather is warming up and farmers will soon be in the fields planting. In Colorado, some sugar beet acres have already been planted.
“We’re finishing contracting for our 2020 contract year and most of our growers will be getting into the fields in mid-April,” said Darnell.