Tips for the Sugar Beet Harvest

Have you heard about the Sugar Beet Harvest?  Do you even know what a sugar beet is? A sugar beet is a plant whose root contains a high concentration of sucrose and which is grown commercially for sugar production. This Workamping job is pretty popular because it pays very well and only lasts 2-3 weeks depending on the weather.  One couple that both works the harvest can possibly make up to $8000 in just a few weeks work.  It’s good money, but there is a price to pay.  It’s cold and the hours are long.  I’ve heard many people say the pros outweigh the cons-big time!

1. Bring Layers

It’s cold in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana.  Especially after dark! You’ll need to be covered from head to toe.

2.  Get Comfortable Boots

They will need to be waterproof and keep your feet warm too.  Get them early and break them in.  You will be on your feet up to 12 hours a day.

3. Get What You Need For the Month

You never know what the weather will do, so prepare! You could get done in two weeks or it may drag on for three weeks.  Be proactive and stock up!

4. Bring Snacks

Enough said. 🙂

5. The Only Activity You Will Have Time For Is – The Harvest

This is not one of those jobs where you will have time to explore the area on your time off.  There’s practically no time off, unless the weather is bad.  Even then, take a rest day.

6. Be Flexible

Sometimes the weather is not cooperative.  If the piling station is shut down, it’s usually due to the weather.  Be flexible and understand it happens.  It could happen hours before your shift or right when you arrive.  Take advantage of this time off to catch up on laundry or rest.  Just remember, the hours missed, will have to be worked.  It is what it is.

7.  Be Open to Learning Something New

There are several different jobs. You could learn to direct trucks, collect samples, run the piler, weigh the trucks or clean up the dirt.  Be a good worker and agree to be cross-trained.  Those people need breaks too and they need someone to fill in.

8.  It will be loud.  It will be dirty.

Wear earplugs and wear clothes you don’t mind getting ruined.  Tip – carry extra shoes to the station in your car to prevent mud from getting in your car or rig.  Throw a box in the back or trunk to store your boots in.

9.  Make Friends.

You’re going to be with these people 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Who knows, your new best friend might be standing in the cold with you!

10.  Safety Comes First

The Sugar Beet Harvest’s number one priority is safety with their employees.  You will be in orientation the first few days learning the jobs, and how the equipment works, and schooled on safety procedures.  Each employee must wear a hard hat, safety glasses, and a reflective vest – all provided for you.

It truly is an Unbeetable Experience.  It’s hard work, pays great, and the people are very nice!

This blog was taken from an article in our May/June issue which is dedicated to the Sugar Beet Harvest.  Thank you, Levi & Natalie Henley for all the great information!   You can read more about them at

Have a great season…

Safe Travels –




Robyn Author

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