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Published September 01, 2009, 07:29 AM

Sugar beet 'prepile' harvest getting under way

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. is starting its initial sugar beet harvest this week in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. is starting its initial sugar beet harvest this week in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

During the "pre-pile" harvest, growers get just enough beets out of the ground to get Crystal's five processing plants running.

The company's five factories are to fire up on Thursday to begin working the kinks out for the processing campaign that lasts into May.

Crystal spokesman Jeff Schweitzer says sugar beet growers are ready for some extra headaches this year, because farmers have other crops to harvest at the same time.

Small grain and other crops were delayed this year by spring flooding and a cool summer, and farmers will be juggling several harvests through September.

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