Friday, July 23, 2021
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“Mini” sugar beet harvest starting across southern Alberta

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Early harvest is getting underway for southern Alberta’s sugar beet growers.

This “mini” harvest is one way producers can ensure the factory has enough inventory to start up.

The goal is to deliver over 180,000 tonnes of sugar beets to receiving stations in Burdett, Taber, Vauxhall, Picture Butte, Enchant, Coaldale, and Tempest this month.

It’s expected to be a good year for producers, with higher than average yields forecast, which is especially good news after 45% of the crop had to be left in the ground last year.

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“We ask that people be patient with farmers as they move equipment from field to field and to watch out for trucks hauling sugar beets from the fields to the receiving stations,” says Gary Tokariuk, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers President. “We understand that this can be frustrating. Something to remember is that the contents of that truck that is moving slow will probably be on your dinner plate over the next 6 months.”

Main harvest is set to start on October 1st and with over 30,000 acres of sugar beets to be harvested, officials says it’s going to be a busy fall. Sugar beets are stored outside in piles and delivered to the factory as needed.

With a higher than above average yield expected this year, the role that early harvest will play is very important. Typically, all the beets will be processed by mid-February, but with a crop this size, it could take longer.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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