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USA - Beet growers wait for word on disaster aid

Federal disaster assistance to sugar beet growers whose crops were impacted by the 2019 harvest freeze is still not finalized.

Growers in the Western Sugar Cooperative’s four-state region met for an annual meeting last week in Loveland, Colorado, hoping for word on their application for assistance under the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Wildfire and Hurricane Disaster Indemnity Program (WHIP). They had earlier been notified they qualified for the program — along with grower cooperatives in the Upper Midwest.

But despite the strong effort on behalf of sugar beet growers, there is nothing to report, said Ric Rodriguez of Powell, a member of Western Sugar Cooperative’s governing board.

“We discussed the potential of the payment, but nothing has been finalized,” he said. “There is hope it would help right the ship for some growers.”

Growers did chart a course for next year that would expand acreage planted in beets as a rebound plan.

“We will plant a few more acres in all areas as we try to make up for the loss of sugar (with the recent crop),” he said. “The price of sugar has stabilized and actually has risen slightly because of the sugar losses across the beet growing regions. The hope is that the coop can take advantage of those prices on the crop that will be planted in 2020.”

Source — https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com

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