Hoeven, Peterson Hold Meeting with Sugar Growers, Outline Work to Provide Assistance to Producers

FARGO, N.D. – At a Red River Valley sugarbeet farm today, Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and Collin Peterson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee held a meeting with Red River Valley sugar growers and Tom Astrup, CEO of American Crystal Sugar Company, Dan Younggren, President of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association and Harrison Weber, incoming Executive Director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association to outline efforts to support producers who were unable to harvest their crop due to the wet fall and early snowstorm, including:

  • Working with USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey to secure disaster assistance funding for sugarbeet growers. 
  • Urging USDA to avoid any premature actions, including increasing sugar imports.

Sugarbeet growers, who were impacted by severe weather, are facing unique circumstances as the work to recover, including the inability to complete harvest and budgeting constraints faced by the cooperative. The current disaster programs do not account for these constraints, which is why Hoeven and Peterson are working with USDA to secure disaster assistance. 

“Producers across North Dakota have faced real challenges this harvest and we’re doing all we can to provide much-needed relief,” said Hoeven. “Many of our sugar growers were forced to leave their crop in the ground due to the late season rainfall and early snow. We had Under Secretary Northey here earlier this month to see firsthand what our producers are up against and we continue working with him to secure disaster assistance for our sugar growers, and to get aid out to all the impacted producers.”

“This tough harvest season has created a lot of uncertainty for sugar beet growers, and we’ll continue having conversations to see what can be done to address the concerns,” said Peterson. 

Today’s meeting follows producer meetings Hoeven and Peterson organized with Under Secretary Northey in North Dakota earlier this month.