BILLINGS, MONT. (AP) — Montana's sugar factories expect to wrap up processing of sugar beets in February.
At Western Sugar Cooperative, officials say its early stopping date is partially due to the early start of the season.
Officials at Sidney Sugars in eastern Montana expect to wrap their work by mid-February.
The Billings Gazette reports that the cooperative historically fired up in mid-September but in recent years has started up in early September to process larger harvests and avoid spoilage.
Randall Jobman is Western's vice president of agriculture for the northern region. He says farmers averaged about 31 tons of beets per acre this year.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Montana farmers plant 45,000 acres of sugar beets annually.