Weather Alert

Ample Sugar Supplies As The Industry Deals With Bumper Crop

Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association | Photo: American Sugar Alliance

If Michigan’s sugarbeet growers haven’t finished harvest yet, most of them will before the month is over. It’s been a plentiful fall for most beet growing regions in the country, according to Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.

“In late July and August, we were fighting with the drought, and we were concerned about what this crop will look like,” he says. “A lot of panic at that point, then all of a sudden Mother Nature decided to make it rain. We went from a crop we thought was going to be short to one that is overly abundant.”

Yields have been so strong in Michigan and the Red River Valley that growers have had to leave some of their crop in the field. Those facilities can’t handle processing these record crops. In the case of Michigan Sugar, the estimate has been bumped to 37 tons per acre.

“The great news to consumers is there’s plenty of sugar, particularly for Thanksgiving through the holidays,” says Markwart. “You can be assured there will be plenty of sugar on the shelf.”

Because of these abundant supplies, Markwart says the sugar industry has been avoiding supply chain disruptions that’s been experienced in other products.

“That’s because we’ve got great workers in our factories, great farmers to provide the product,” he says. “We’ve told people, ‘You’ve had a lot to worry about over almost two years—sugar’s not been one of them.’ That tells you you’ve got an industry, program, and policies that work.”

Markwart talks more about policies in the full interview on the November 24, 2021 edition of the Michigan Ag Today Podcast in the player below or on your favorite podcast app.

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