WBC To Consider Emergency Relief For Beet Growers March 30

The Wyoming Business Council board of directors will consider a request from Wyoming Sugar Company for an economic emergency declaration and $5,675,650 in loans during a special call-in meeting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 30.

The request follows intense fall rains and a hard winter freeze stretching from December through February responsible for devastating the grower-owned cooperative’s sugar beet harvest.

Wyoming Sugar is owned by 38 growers representing about 60 families in Fremont, Big Horn, Park and Washakie counties. If the board designates a disaster area, each beet producer would need to complete a loan application by May 15, 2017. Staff will analyze each loan for sufficient collateral and cash flow. The 10-year loans will include 3.5 percent in annual interest.

The Business Council has provided 123 alfalfa, bean and beet growers $6,038,396 in economic disaster loans since 2000. Of those, six growers defaulted on a total of $84,201. The interest income since 2000 totals $941,414 and the principal remains untouched.

Wyoming Sugar’s situation did not qualify for emergency financial aid from the United States Department of Agriculture or the Farm Service Agency.

The public is encouraged to listen to the meeting by visiting https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/263667805 or calling 1-855-459-2716.

For more information, call Communications Director Ron Gullberg at 307-777-2833.

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