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Chicory processing is underway

Awardee Story Chicory processing is underway
Date: Nov 11, 2018
Source: Vabio.org ( click here to go to the source)

Processing is underway at U.S. Chicory, following the October harvest

John Wyman and Monica Domingo separate, by hand, the sapper roots from the chicory before the start of the conveyer belt.

David Hergert, owner of U.S. Chicory, said the crop is very similar to sugar beets and can be planted and harvested using the same equipment. Chicory is generally harvested in October. "Unlike sugar beets, chicory does not store," Hergert said. "Within 48 hours or so of harvest, you need to process it and dry it."

The chicory roots are taken to the U.S. Chicory plant in Scottsbluff, where they are piled until processed. The roots are sliced into pieces and dried, after which they can be stored for years. "We've got two huge dryers out there. We can dry 55 tons per hour," Hergert said. "That's 50 acres per day if we're running at full capacity." To meet demand, area farmers usually grow 300-500 cacres each year.

For the rest of the year, the company roasts and grinds the slices of chicory roots to prepare for shipment. Chicory is primarily brewed with coffee and tea. "They like a real stout, rich coffee," Hergert said.

The 2018 season started late, with the cold wet spring delaying planting. Hergert estimated the final crop to be between one and two tons.

Contact information

Innovation Development Institute, LLC

   45 Beach Bluff Avenue, Suite 300
     Swampscott,  MA 01907-1542

  Tel:  (781) 595-2920