Wyoming Sugar Has Record Year | Big Horn Basin Media

Wyoming Sugar Has Record Year

Written by on November 11, 2020

The Grower owned Wyoming Sugar faced an up hill battle that would end in a banner year. Speaking with the President and CEO of Wyoming Sugar Mike Greear on this season crops, and it’s challenges he said, “Wyoming sugar, it’s growers, it’s employees and everybody that chipped in for the harvest should be proud.” Greear would go on to say ” Every single beet got brought in, every one is storing well, and every one is going to be sliced and turned into sugar… we had a fabulous year.”

Asking Mike Greear about this seasons beets he said that “this year we come around, we had a great crop in the field, but if you recall the weather was so warm.” ” We were running just limited hours.” When speaking about the difficulties and unknowns that go into the process he stated that “all of a sudden Mother Nature says ok, we’re going to throw you another monkey wrench and now we’re going to go to I think nine below. So when that window opened up where we knew that could store. What we end up doing, we ran 17 hour days.”

Greear expanded on that speaking about the fact that a lot of the truck drivers are retired men so the long days can be exhausting. To add to that the amount of work in the time given isn’t always logistical. “We just had about ten day window where normally we have thirty days,” said Greear.

The growers would have different opportunities this year in trying some new tactics. “We had a couple larger Growers with remote fields and we allowed them to, and it was an experiment we wanted to do anyway, use field clamps.” The field clamps allowed trucks to get to the factory and the Growers to continue to dig. As a result of using clamps all of the beets were harvested and processed. Mike Greear said “it worked out well, everybody chipped in. Everybody maned up, so to speak and we got the job done.” Greear would add that very few beets were lost with just the few stragglers that fall off the truck being the ones that don’t make it.

The crops this yeare broke record numbers and Greear was ecstatic saying that  “this crop was just fabulous. We ended up with a company wide sugar average of 19.62% which is an industry record.” Greear explained  that “when I say record I mean for the United States, it’s for every company, that’s the best average that’s occurred .” The sugar content of the beets can be seen on the cassette belt as they go into first processing.

The tonnage of this years crop was down from record years. The heat and the water content contributed to the lower tonnage. When I asked him how that effected the sugar he responded with, “what I got to look at is how many pounds of sugar we put in the silo. It really translates to how many pounds of sugar per acre.” President and CEO of Wyoming sugar would conclude with, “it was just a really good year for us.”

(Photos courtesy of James Yule)

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