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Handling Sugarbeets


Delivering Sugarbeets to the Piling Site
Sugar beets are delivered via truck by our growers to receiving stations, where the first step in the separation process takes place. The beets are first weighed and then dumped into live bottom receivers, which feed the beets at a constant rate to a set of grab rolls. The grab rolls, sets of several forward and reverse rotating rollers with grooves and/or fingers, grate and pinch off a substantial portion of the tops, weeds, and dirt which remains attached to the beets after harvest. The weeds, tops, and dirt removed are weighed and subtracted from the load’s original weight.

A sample of the beets is taken at this point to determine their purity and sucrose content, forming, together with the net weight delivered the basis for the payment to the grower. The beets are then transferred via elevated conveyor belt to the storage piles where they may remain from 18 hours to over 180 days dependent upon the factory needs, logistics, and prevailing weather.

When the beets in storage are scheduled for processing, they are transferred from the storage pile with a loader into a re-haul truck, which delivers the beets to the factory’s receiving hopper in Renville. The beets are then conveyed to the factory’s washing and cleaning station via an underground conveyor belt system. Since the sugarbeet has a nearly identical density to that of water, their transport inside the cleaning station is made much easier by being carried in a current of water, called a flume. The beets then enter a series of two beet washers, large tumbling drums partially filled with water, then on to a series of two rotary rock catchers, and a then to a rake which extracts the weeds from the water flow. The beets are then extracted from the water and elevated (by a large screw conveyor) onto the final spray wash table, before being conveyed (by a series of belts) to hoppers above the beet slicers.

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