Northern Red River Valley Grower Finishes Sugar Beets, Wet Corn Harvest

I took this photo of Kelly and Scott Erickson at their farm in April 2013.


Kelly Erickson, president of the board of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, and a farmer near Hallock, Minn., says the 2013 crop year has turned out much better, agriculturally, than last year when some of his beets had to be abandoned due to wet fields.

The operation run by Erickson and his son, Scott, finished up beets on Oct. 16, compared to a year ago when he tried to harvest beets in a wet November. This year’s yields were very good but the sugar content was a little less than he’d like to see.

“We’re just finishing up ditching, doing some surface drainage and putting stuff away,” Erickson said. The 2013 year was miserable for many growers farther south, but not this time at Hallock. He also raises corn and – because of an inoperable dryer this year – had to haul it to the elevator.

Corn yields have been all over the board, with the “dry yield” coming in at 100 to 150 bushels or more. “Our corn, when we took it was 26 percent moisture,” Erickson says. “We know that’s way to high but you’re always trying to out-think the weather. We took it wet, but I’m happy we made that decision.”