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Published August 17, 2010, 11:34 AM

Beet Harvest Begins

American Crystal Sugar Co.'s early beet harvest is beginning earlier than ever because the crop appears to be bigger than ever.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) - American Crystal Sugar Co.'s early beet harvest is beginning earlier than ever because the crop appears to be bigger than ever.

During the "pre-pile" harvest, growers get just enough beets out of the ground to get Crystal's five processing plants in the Red River Valley running. It typically begins Sept. 1, with the full harvest beginning Oct. 1.

Dan Bernhardson, the cooperative's director of agriculture, says the factories are to begin running Thursday. Minnesota plants are in East Grand Forks, Crookston and Moorhead, and North Dakota factories are in Hillsboro and Drayton.

Bernhardson says an early spring planting and an ideal growing season have led to a crop expected to set a record for yield.

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