Sidney Sugars Campaign
On Feb 9th, Sidney Sugars was on Day 129 of a campaign expected to last 173 days, ending about March 25th, depending on the amount of shrinkage in the piles. Dave Garland, Sidney Sugars general manager, is one of the few who would like to see winter stay for a while. Colder temperatures help preserve the beets with the fluctuation in temperatures the biggest issue according to Garland. "The jury is still out on damage from the recent warm spell, but it does affect storage," he said. "We're seeing normal storage effects so far, not worse or better than the past two years."
Beets from the Culbertson, Terry, and Glendive areas have all been hauled in, while less than 275,000 tons remain in Savage, Fairview and the factory yard. More than one third of those beets are under ventilation which improves storage.
The factory has been running well, slicing an average of 6,300 tons per day, or just under 265 tons per hour. With half the down time of the previous 2 years, slicing is 200 tons per day over the average. Garland credits the processing and maintenance crews for better processing and less down time.
Even though sugar content was down this season, the record tonnage means lots of sugar. Storage capacity at the factory is 2 million hundredweight. So far 2.226 million have been produced with 2.9 expected. Sidney Sugars ships sugar year round, roughly 80% in bulk rail cars and 20% in super sacks, to a variety of companies including Mars, Kelloggs, General Mills, Kraft, Nabisco, Nestle and several pharmaceutical companies.