FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- American Crystal Sugar Co. farmers are starting their beet harvest this week. It's the earliest start in the Red River Valley cooperative's history.

The Forum newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/P78NM1 ) that the pre-pile harvest is to begin Tuesday, with growers getting just enough beets out of the ground to get Crystal's five processing plants running.

The harvest is starting earlier than normal because farmers got in the fields earlier last spring. Crystal spokesman Jeff Schweitzer says officials will work to make sure the harvest during warmer weather doesn't lead to rotting problems in the beet piles at the plants.

The full-scale harvest is scheduled to begin in early October, the traditional time.

The valley's other beet co-op, Minn-Dak Farmers, also is starting its pre-pile harvest Tuesday.


Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com

Copyright 2012 The AP.

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