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Sweetening Life in the Red River Valley Since 1974

 Steve Moen Family Harvest Bee - September 29, 2015

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September 30, 2015

Many factors are considered in determining the start and potential stops to full harvest at Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, including policy in combination with practice, to have the beets harvested during optimal temperature ranges. Therefore, the factors considered, in order of priority are:

  • Long-term weather forecast with highest priority placed on daytime high and nighttime low temperatures as we make every effort to have the beets at optimal temperatures when going into the piles, recognizing that weather forecasts are not 100% accurate.
  • Long-term weather forecast considering rainfall probabilities because we understand the increased harvest costs of having to pull equipment in the fields, and the increased tare when harvesting in muddy conditions.
  • Labor scheduling challenges for MDFC growers.
  • General harvest policy - On or after October 1, when air temperatures are 55° and falling, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative will start main harvest and run until the air temperatures reach 60°. Any temperatures below 27° are subject to shutdown. The policy is subject to the discretion of the ag staff.

 As you know, good quality beets harvested under the best possible temperature conditions set the stage for good long-term storage, sucrose content preservation, and ultimately higher crop payments.

With approximately 55% of our storage capacity now ventilated, we have the infrastructure in place to somewhat reduce the risk from inaccurate long-term weather forecasts that underestimate day-time highs that exceed 60F.

We also understand that heat shutdowns create labor scheduling challenges for growers, and the cooperative alike, so we will do our best to give you advance warning of high-probability heat shutdown situations.

With a heat shutdown now anticipated for tomorrow from 11 am to 8 pm, growers may choose to not harvest tomorrow morning, and start their full harvest tomorrow evening at 8 pm, or 2 am depending on the growers assigned harvest shift.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation and flexibility as we all work together to put a large crop in the piles in the best conditions possible.

Kurt Wickstrom

President & CEO



Congratulations to The Class of 2015!

Click on Class of 2015 image to view publication.


From Beet to Sweet!

Many Thanks to AgWeek TV along with Shawna Olson and Trevor Peterson!



Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative (MDFC) has a 1200 acre footprint in Richland County, North Dakota. The Cooperative is owned by approximately 500 sugarbeet growers who collectively grow 115,000 acres of sugarbeets. MDFC employs about 304 year-round, 147 seasonal and 295 harvest employees.

MDS Startup February 4, 2015

18 months of construction have culminated with Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative’s official processing of molasses through the Molasses Desugarizing Facility, starting another exciting chapter in the history of the cooperative!