Sugar Beets are harvested at their maximum sugar content. Most of the things we do are designed to keep that level high while in storage waiting to be processed.
Here is a triple axle highway dump semi tractor trailer dumping on the right end dump of the plier. The piler has two end dumps and there are three pilers at our location. Our location is currently unloading over two thousand one hundred trucks a day and piling the beets.
The beet pile is around 250 feet wide at the bottom, 32 feet tall and about five football fields long. There are three piles like that at our location.
The beets are pretty large in size. Here is a size comparison with a soda pop bottle. Last year we saw a 28 pound beet that came down the belt !
The bottom of the beet pile has freezers connected to large culverts with holes in them. This system pumps freezing air into the pile to keep the beets from deteriorating and loosing sugar content.
A view from the back of the piler, looking back at the freezer pipes and the base of the pile.
The Bobcat skid steer below is one of the larger ones, in order to be able to move the heavy galvanized pipes.
3’ diameter culverts give an idea of the size of the beets and the bobcat.
As the sun comes up and outlines the pile next to ours, you can see two large semi’s dumping to the far left that will give you an idea of the size of the piler and the pile.
The three piles are near the center of this photo. For size comparison the interstate I 29 clover leaf is just above to the left.
It is our second year at the beet harvest and it is still quite an adventure !