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Gary Hoot working the sugar beet fields at nightFarm producers in our region are facing a challenging harvest this year — wet, muddy and rut-filled fields from unseasonably early snow and lots of rain, making it a herculean effort to lift beets out of the ground and get crops off the field.

Spring planting was tough, too, with late starts from cold, wet conditions which created unprecedented delays in crop development in many areas.

Through it all, our farmers are persisting with their dedication and resolve to bring in the harvest and help feed the world’s population.

We salute and thank our farmers, their families and the hired hands, neighbors, American Federal employees and other volunteers who are helping get the job done.

The next time you meet a farmer, shake their hand or tip your cap to thank them for everything they do for our region’s economy and our local communities. Salute their hard work and true grit.

Caution on Rural Roads

With this long, memorable harvest, farmers are creative in their approach to getting their crop out. With a shortened window, it can require changing heads, moving augers, revisiting the same fields and relocating machinery several times.

Accidents can happen when harvest conditions are stressful and long hours create fatigue.

Help keep our farmers and friends safe. Slow down, look twice and concentrate when you approach or pass a farm vehicle on the road. Roads are slippery with mud and harvest debris. A little extra caution pays off for everyone at harvest.