Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sugar Beets Harvest

Last of the Harvest - Sugar Beets

This is almost the end of the sugar beet harvest. This mountain of stuff, called a sugar beet dump, is built from one of the major agricultural products in this area. Now in early to mid-November, the trucks are all over the fields and highways, hauling these beets from the fields to a central locations such as this. They are then unloaded onto a piler that throws them onto the already-huge mountain. The trucks are so full, sometimes a few of the heavy beets will fall out of the truck onto passing cars resulting in dents or a cracked windshield! The phrase is not “I love you” or “Be careful” when a loved one leaves for a drive in the car, it’s “Watch out for the sugar beet trucks!” From the dump, they will be hauled to the processing plant in even larger trucks to be turned into our beloved sugar.

I read this in the paper today: Average yield per acre is 22-23 tons of sugar beets. (That's a lotta sugar beets!) In Montana it is even higher. Average sugar content is 17%. This is for all you Trivia folks out there. I know very little about sugar beets, but it is a major product in this area.

I’ve cut one open do you can see the rings, similar to a regular beet. And they are so sweet – awful sweet tasting.

I’m wondering what other agricultural products are in your location that most of us know nothing about?


Finn said...

Hi Elaine, you know...I had almost forgotten about sugar beet harvest time...LOL. It was a whole new concept to me the first autumn in Michigan. One learns quickly to keep some distance between you and the trucks hauling the beets...LOL Talk about unguided missiles!!

And the smell hangs in the air forever it seems.
As far as I know, there is nothing unusual grown in my part of WI, but I'll think on it..*VBS* Hugs, Finn

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I don't qute understand what sugarbeets are, they don't look like beetroot, do they make sugar from them? We have sugarcane up in the warmer north-I'm going to have to Google!!

Elaine Adair said...

I don't think this is the same as beetroot, which (I believe) is the same as BEETS, red-like tubers that we eat. Same family, though. Sugar Beets are used for sugar, which I've heard is the 'same' sugar as that made from sugar cane - definitely NOT from Nebraska! Sugar beets are big and heavy, larger than a man's fist, and really ugly. Cattle like them also. Cattle are sometimes turned into the fields after harvest to glean the extras left behind.

Susan said...

Thanks for the pictures and information about sugar beet harvesting. I always love little bits like this.

For many years we lived in Arizona, where cotton is grown. We are back here again for a short time, and it was a definite coming-home feeling to drive by the cotton fields.

One thing I never knew, until I lived here and saw it year after year, is that they put a defoliant in the sprays at the end of the growing cycle so that when the harvest trucks go down the rows, they get the cotton bolls more easily.

The picked cotton is separated in the harvester, and then they move the truck over to the side of the field and download the cotton in a huge rectangle, which is covered with some kind of fabric covering. They often spray paint lot numbers on the side!

Sweet P said...

I grew up in Minnesota and remember many, many corn fields and plenty of cows. There is a saying that corn should be knee high by Fourth of July to be any good. Dairy products also are high on the list.

Here in NH I honestly don't know what the farmers grow. I know there is a family run farm in Dover that is the longest running farm in the US. They have a great store where they sell many of their crops along with crops from other local farmers.