ISSUE #418

418 - Board Approves Reduction of Late Harvest Program For 2002


American Crystal Sugar Company’s Board of Directors has approved a Reduction of Late Harvest Program to begin with the 2002 crop. The program is authorized under the Five Year Agreement and was developed in response to a resolution calling for such action that was passed by a strong majority of those present at the annual meeting last December.

Objectives Of the Program:

  • To encourage shareholders to maintain the company objective of 10% per day delivery.
  • To develop a system that is fair and equitable to all shareholders.
  • To reduce company harvest cost.
  • To increase the beet payment.

Why Is the Program Necessary?

  • Many of the same shareholders are last to finish nearly every year.
  • Some shareholders choose not to lift for full shifts.
  • Some shareholders choose not to operate all the trucks allocated to them.
  • Some shareholders choose not to dig during muddy conditions when others are.
  • Some choose to harvest soybeans, potatoes or other crops first.
  • Some shareholders deliver beets to other processors first.

Labor Cost of Running A Piler:

The labor cost of operating a piler for a 12-hour shift with 8 hours of regular time and 4 hours overtime is $98.11/hr.

Person$ Per Shift
Ag Mechanic 262.78
Foreman 194.32
Operator 150.64
Helpers (3X) 427.14
Weight Master 142.38
Total $1,177.26

Costs Skyrocket

Cost of stockpiling beets during the regular harvest was $0.32/ton in 2001. Cost of late delivered beets was $1.79/ton.

Other Receiving Station Costs:

Front end Loader $4.17/hr
Electricity $5.76/hr
Jiffy Jons $0.33/hr
Total Other Costs $10.26/hr

Cost Per Ton On Late Delivered Beets After 98% Plus 24 Hours

Hours Open 446 452 463
Cost ($108.37/T) $48,333 $48,983 $50,175
Tons 27,039 33,231 35,788
Cost/Ton $1.79 $1.47 $1.40

Cost of beet delivery during main harvest was $.32/ton in 2001.

How Will the Reduction of Late Harvest Program Work?

The program provides that when a station has accepted 98% of the beets to be delivered to that station, shareholders will have an additional 24 hours to complete harvest without penalty.

  • The hours tick off only when the station is open.
  • The penalty will be a charge of $100 per hour, per shareholder, for delivery after reaching the 98% plus 24 hours trigger.
  • Charges will be assessed against the contract that is being delivered against.
  • All shareholders that are late each pay at the $100/hour rate.
  • Shareholders that finish within 10 days from start of main harvest can never be charged even if trigger is reached.
  • Agriculturist and harvest maintenance supervisor will determine when a station has reached 98% by using contracted acres into station and station’s estimated crop yield. After harvest each station will be reviewed to determine when 98% was actually reached. Trigger will never be moved earlier, but can be moved later after review, so that shareholders will not be penalized if the crop estimate is not accurate.
  • A shareholder will be assessed any time his delivery station is open and the 98 plus 24 trigger has been reached, even if he chooses not to harvest.

Costs Skyrocket

Cost of stockpiling beets during the regular harvest was $0.32/ton in 2001. Cost of late delivered beets was $1.79/ton.

50% Rate In 2002 

Penalties assessed in 2002 will be at only $50/hour (50% of the intended rate) for a one-year transition period.

Average Killing Frost Occurs On October 5

Late crop delivery costs individual shareholders hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost crop quality when harvesting beets after a killing frost. The average date of a canopy killing frost for the last 5 years is October 5.

Figure 1 shows the impact of the canopy killing frost that occurred on October 5 & 6 2001. Shareholders lost an average of $2.24 per ton on the 1.7 million tons harvested between October 11-22.

Figure 1: Effect of A Canopy Killing Frost on Payment Per Ton 


Get Informed

For more information on the Reduction of Late Harvest Program be sure to attend your factory district meeting. Contact your agriculturist or harvest maintenance supervisor if you have need for more information.