Hoeven and Peterson Join Forces to Help Sugar Beet Industry in Crisis

Sugar beet farmers in the valley are struggling as low crop prices and temperatures have hampered the harvest.

WHEATLAND, N.D. –  “Nobody made money raising beets this year. Regardless if you’re on the insurance side, or if you raised and delivered a crop, everybody lost money.” said one sugar beet farmer in attendance.

The sugar beet industry is facing a unique and devastating set of circumstances, as a wet fall and early winter storm have made harvesting their crops impossible.

This challenge to the industry has prompted a bipartisan response from Senator Hoeven and Congressman Peterson to secure disaster assistance for farmers in our region from the USDA.

“For the established producers this is really tough but they have more ability to get through it. Think about those young farmers who are just getting into the business. There’s a lot of capital cost, they are just getting going. It’s really important we find ways to help them because it’s not just low prices, it’s the weather problems all kind of hitting at once. The key is to keep them in the game for the long term.” said Sen. John Hoeven.

The disaster assistance would come from modifying the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program’s Loss of Crops clause to allow for growers and producers to claim some of the 3.05 billion dollars available in aid from the program.

“I just keep telling people be patient. It’s not the end of the world. We’ll get it done.” said Rep. Collin Peterson.

Hoeven is optimistic that the assistance will make its way to our farmers, but says the real solution is to look at trade deals for the future.

“These farmers and ranchers want to grow crops, and raise cattle for the markets. They need a shot at that. That’s why we’re driving so hard on these trade agreements. That’s the real solution, that’s the real key, that’s the long term solution.” said Hoeven.

American Crystal Sugar Company officials say the USDA will have to import sugar from Mexico to offset the losses.

Only time will tell if the industry will recover, and these farmers are hopeful that the bi–partisan effort will produce results.

Categories: Agriculture, Business, Local News, Politics / Elections