Sugar Beet Harvest!

Oct 2, 2016

Hello from sugar beet country! Hubs and I have made the 200-mile journey back to his homeland (the NE corner of North Dakota) for a few days of sugar beet harvest. He’s hauling beets and I alternate between being the photographer & his copilot.

His family grows sugar beets for Crystal Sugar – chances are, you’ve got some in your cupboard! This is where it comes from and here are some of the people who grow it!

Alert: the newest little sugar beet farmer in the family has made the blog too, and he’s tooooo cute to miss.

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It’s the first day of beet harvest, and the piler (where they take the beets) opens at 8. We start around 7:15 – just a few minutes before sunrise!

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My dad-in-law and Paul, waiting for the rest of the crew to get their trucks ready.

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And they’re off, just as the sun comes up over the trees.

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Sugar beets have big, leafy tops on them. When it’s time to harvest, a machine (called a roto-beater) comes along and shreds the tops.

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So then they look something like this, just the beets sticking out of the ground.

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Then the beet lifter comes along, and picks the beets up out of the ground with large disks, feeds them into a rotating wheel that tosses the dirt off of them, and then unloads the beets into a truck driving along side of it.

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The beet lifter doesn’t have a big hopper like a combine does, so it pretty much always needs to have a truck right beside it to unload the beets into.

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There are 7 or 8 trucks this morning constantly circling from the field to the beet piler, where they unload the beets into gigantic piles, to be picked up by Crystal Sugar later.

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Got a little carried away on the sunrise photos – but it was just too pretty to pass up!

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Driving alongside the beat lifter with Garret.

While we’re here, I took some photos of the newest addition to the farm – Maclin!

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After the sun went down, I jumped back in the truck and hauled beets with Garret til midnight! Gosh, I love harvest time. 🙂

Next stop, my homeland, Illinois!

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