(Neb)-No January Partial Payments From Western Sugar
SCOTTSBLUFF - Sugar beet growers who contract with the Western Sugar Cooperative may find their finances a little tight this winter and early spring because the Co-op board has decided not to make preliminary payments on this year's crop in January and probably not in March, either.
President and CEO Rodney Perry says in a letter to growers that the annual slicing and sugar production campaigns at the factories in Scottsbluff and Fort Morgan, Colo, have fallen behind schedule because of equipment failures. As a result, the revenue stream is also behind schedule.
Perry says the board will decide in early March, close to the end of the production campaign, whether to issue a payment then or wait and make a single payment later when the smaller final checks normally are released.
Perry says the equipment failures have come despite the fact that Western Sugar spent more on maintenance before the campaign than any time since the cooperative was formed in 2002.
In Scottsbluff, the main problem has been with limits to the boiler capacity, resulting in less steam production and a lower slice rate. Repairs are scheduled for next week and there are plans to hook up a temporary boiler within a month or so.
Perry says Western Sugar is also dealing with a number of environmental and compliance issues which will be explained in detail at the cooperative's annual meeting on January 25th.
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