A hard freeze destroyed a good percentage of the Denver-based Western Sugar Cooperative’s beet crop and as many as 30,000 acres in four states.
Growers will have to replant as a devastating freeze hit areas of all four states in which Western operates Wednesday, May 8.
In Bayard and Box Butte counties in Nebraska an estimated 10,000 acres was lost. Growers in Fort Morgan and Greeley, CO, lost about 500 acres each. The Billings, MT, area had about 10,000 acres taken out. To the south in Lovell, WY, about 500 acres will need replanting.
Company officials say it is a terrific loss to those growers involved and will mean additional expense to replant. Despite this they are sure the beets can be replanted without any problems and, although it will cut yields, the acres involved should deliver next fall.
In addition, in Colorado a gripping drought has wiped out some 550,000 acres of winter wheat. Reports show a loss of $79.1 million. Subsoil moisture is not there and other crops would not do well even if planted.
Many ranchers are selling off their cattle. They cannot afford to buy feed for them. There is no grass and very little hay—that’s last year’s hay.