Montana Governor Steve Bullock today requested additional assistance from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for Montana sugarbeet farmers who experienced severe losses this harvest season.
“Both the production and quality of Montana’s sugarbeet crop experienced severe losses in affected areas,” Governor Bullock wrote to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Due to the extreme unseasonable snowstorms, freezing temperatures, and excessive rain in late September and early October, numerous acres were unharvested. These losses represent a significant negative economic impact to the affected areas.”
Governor Bullock first requested a Secretarial Disaster Designation for Daniels, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Valley Counties on October 28, 2019. Today’s additional request adds the counties of Big Horn, Carbon, McCone, Richland, Rosebud, Treasure and Yellowstone to the Secretarial Disaster Designation.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is compiling necessary damage assessment information. Impacted producers are encouraged to connect with their local FSA office.
Sidney Sugars Incorporated, operating in Richland County, reported between 1,200 to 1,400 unharvested acres of sugarbeets. Western Sugar Cooperative estimates 60 percent of total crops in Big Horn, Carbon, Rosebud, Treasure, and Yellowstone counties were impacted by snowstorms in October.
Bullock wrote that, according to the Farm Service Agency (FSA), 18 percent of the sugarbeets could not be harvested. The governor also noted that yield and quality impacts will exceed the 30 percent loss threshold required for the WHIP+ disaster program.