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American Crystal Sugar forecasts higher beet prices per ton

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)—While harvest can often be unpredictable, the forecast for farmers looks better than expected, and some farmers are pleasantly surprised.   

And we’re not talking about weather.

A bump in beet prices could mean big bucks, when it's time for beet farmers to get this year's hard-earned cash.

A local beet farmer says times have been tough, but they're about to get better.

That’s because American Crystal Sugar released forecast payments for this year’s crop, and they’re estimating payments of 46 dollars per ton. That’s up nearly 4 dollars from last year.

A local farmer says this money will go back into the Grand Forks economy.

Sugar beets are a hot commodity in the Red River Valley, with struggling returns.

“Harvest went pretty smooth. We had maybe one—gosh, we got shut down for one evening,” said sugar beet farmer of Adams Family Farm, Chris Adams.

"The last 4 or 5 years, farmers have not been making anything. You know, so they're behind every year, so they're having to pay back for last year with New Year financing"

Farming can be risky.

"It is very stressful,” said Adams.

At times, it can be tough to hit a bottom line.

"We have a lot of money sitting in the ground for Mother Nature to do what she wants to do to it,” said Adams.

But this year Mother Nature cooperated, and the beets could be worth more than they have been in previous years.

"With that extra payment coming out, yeah, you get, obviously, put that money back into the community,” said Adams.

Which means more money to be spent on the farm.

“The most obvious would probably be new pick-ups. I mean, really, you see all the new pick-ups driving around town.”

Which could be a boom for local businesses.

"Dumped back into the farm, which would be equipment sales, and this and that, and you know, land rent, and land opportunities for new people,” said Adams.

A waiting game for producers who are hoping for a win.

Farmers will learn the final prices per ton for beets next fall.