Where In The Us Is Sugar Cane Grown?

One of the biggest producers of sugar on the planet is the United States. The sugarcane and sugarbeet industries in the United States are both sizable and well-established, unlike those in the majority of other producers. Since the middle of the 2000s, sugarcane has contributed between 40 and 45 percent of the nation’s total sugar production, and sugarbeets have contributed between 55 and 60 percent. Since 2016/17, the average short tons, raw value (STRV) of sugar produced in the United States has increased from an early 1980s average of 6.0 million STRV to an average 9.0 million STRV. The increased output is the result of significant investments in new processing machinery, the adoption of new technologies, the use of better crop types, and the extension of farmland (because of higher prices for sugar crops relative to alternative crops).

Weather can have a significant impact on sugarcane and sugarbeet yields, although overall, both have tended to improve through time. Due to varietal advancements, investments in better harvesting systems, and other technological advancements, sugarcane yields have grown significantly in Florida and Louisiana in particular. In fiscal year (FY) 1993, sugarbeet yields were at a low of 18.6 short tons per acre, while in FY 2018, they were at a high of 32.8 tons per acre.

Over the past two decades, the number of farms producing sugarcane and sugarbeets has steadily decreased while the average area collected per farm increased. The overall number of farms farming sugarbeets and sugarcane declined from 4,714 in 2007 to 4,123 in 2017, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. In comparison to 2002, when there were 5,980 sugarbeet and sugarcane farms in operation, the industry’s consolidation is more obvious. The number of sugarbeet farms decreased from 3,913 to 3,496 between 2012 and 2017, however the average area harvested per farm increased from 319 to 329 acres. Similar to this, from 2012 to 2017, there were 666 fewer sugarcane plantations than there were in 1997, when there were 1,079 such farms in the United States.

Sugarcane Production

One of the primary sources of raw materials for the production of produced sugar in the United States is sugarcane. Tropical and semitropical conditions are ideal for growing sugarcane, a tall perennial grass. The plant matures in 1-2 years following the sowing of cane stalk cuttings. If the plants aren’t damaged or killed by cold, disease, or other factors, two to four crops can be gathered from the initial planting. Sugarcane must be processed soon after being harvested to prevent the sucrose from degrading.

Sugarcane is grown in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas in the US. Sugarcane for sugar acreage increased from an average of 704,000 acres in the 1980s’ first half to 903,400 acres in FY 2020/21. In the same time frame, the amount of sugar generated from sugarcane increased from 2.910 million STRV in 2020/21 to 4.251 million STRV.

Since the United States stopped importing sugar from Cuba in 1960, Florida’s sugarcane production has increased dramatically. The largest cane-producing state in the country is Florida. The majority of sugarcane is grown in organic soils along Lake Okeechobee’s southern and eastern shores in southern Florida, where the growing season is lengthy and the winters are often mild. Between FY 2017 and FY 2021, Florida generated an average of 2.06 million STRV of sugar.

The Delta region of Louisiana, the State with the northernmost cane-growing region, has seen the bulk of the state’s sugarcane output due to its fertile soils and mild climate. However, Louisiana’s sugar industry has grown northward and westward into unorthodox regions where sugarcane is grown. The majority of the increase in sugarcane acres has happened at a time when returns for rival crops like rice and soybeans have fallen. The adoption of high-yielding sugarcane varieties and investments in new harvesting combines have both increased Louisiana production. Between FY 2017 and FY 2021, Louisiana produced 1.782 million STRV of sugar on average.

Texas’ southernmost region, the lower Rio Grande Valley, is where sugarcane is grown. The region experiences long, hot summers and brief, warm winters. Killing frost are a constant concern, and in certain years, productivity has been greatly affected by hurricanes and drought. Texas’s sugarcane production began with the 1973 crop after a lengthy hiatus. The overall area harvested in the 1980s changed little and averaged around 35,000 acres. During the same time period, the production of sugarcane fluctuated from year to year due to changes in yields, averaging around 100,000 tons annually. In comparison to FY 2000, sugarcane acres increased by 50% in FY 2001. Since FY 2017, an average of 36,100 acres have been harvested, and 143,000 STRV of sugar have been produced on average throughout that time.

Up until recently, Hawaii’s sugarcane production was distributed among the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. However, due to the closing of processing facilities and competing uses for sugar land, the final mill on Maui stopped operating in 2016.

Sugarbeet Production

The second most important source of raw materials for manufactured sugar in the US is sugarbeets. This hardy crop is planted every year and can be farmed in a range of temperate climates. After harvest, sugarbeets can be kept for a short while, although processing is necessary to prevent sucrose degradation. The introduction of genetically modified (GM) seed varieties is a recent phenomenon. About 95% of the acreage was planted with GM cultivars in the 2009–10 crop year, up from about 60% in 2008–09. GM varieties have stayed at comparable levels in future years, even though there haven’t been any modifications to reporting since 2009–2010.

Sugarbeets are often grown in rotation with other crops in 4 regions that span 11 States. East of the Mississippi River, only the Great Lakes region (Michigan) is expanding. The Far West, the Great Plains (Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming), and the Upper Midwest (Minnesota and North Dakota) are the other three expanding regions (California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington). The western regions are examples of dryland farming where irrigation is the main source of water. The eastern regions rely on precipitation. In the past, sugarbeet yields in the west have typically been higher than those in the east. The yields in the eastern regions are now considerably closer to those in the western regions thanks to the introduction of new disease-resistant and GM seed varieties. Technologies that enable the desugaring of molasses, which normally would be a very low-value byproduct, increase sugar output in all areas.

The Red River Valley in western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota is the largest and most active area for sugarbeet production. The majority of the total planted area of sugarbeet in the United States has been grown in the Red River region, where planting continued to increase steadily through the 1990s and into the 2000s. In order to make better use of the slicing capacity at the factories, long, cold winters help store sugar beets grown in October and allow sugarbeets to be sliced well into the following spring. A similar production strategy is used in Michigan, which is normally the third-largest producer of sugarbeets in terms of planted area. However, due to somewhat warmer temperatures, the slicing season is more restricted to the late winter and early spring.

Idaho, which is normally the second-largest sugarbeet-producing State by planted area, Washington, and parts of Oregon and California all produce sugarbeets in the Far West. In these States, irrigated land is typically used for production. Although investments in ventilated and covered storage methods have allowed for a longer season and enhanced the quality of processed sugarbeets, the sugarbeet processing season is still shorter than in the Red River Valley. The reduction in output in this region is mostly attributable to the closure of three of the four Californian mills over the past few decades, leaving just the Imperial Valley producing any steel.

The Central Grain Plains and Upper Great Plains (north-central Wyoming, Montana, and western North Dakota) are where sugarbeet production takes place (southeastern Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska). Typically, this area makes up roughly 1/8 of the total planted area in the country. Similar to the Far West, irrigated land is used for the majority of sugarbeet cultivation in the plains regions. The slicing season has also been extended thanks to investments in enclosed and ventilated storage facilities, which have significantly increased the quality and productivity of processed sugarbeet in these regions.

Annual Cash Receipts

The amount of money that U.S. sugar farmers receive depends on sugar prices and output. The 2018–19 crop year saw $1.184 billion in cash receipts for sugarbeets, while the 2019–20 crop year saw $1.098 billion. In the crop years 2018–19 and 2019–20, respectively, sugarcane cash receipts totaled $1.160 billion and $1.000 billion. Less than 1% of all agricultural cash receipts received by American farmers come from the sugar crops, on average.

Which five states produce the most sugar cane?

This statistic displays the state-by-state total sugar cane production in the United States from 2010 through 2021. Florida produced about 17.14 million tons of sugar cane in 2021. 180 million metric tons of sugar were produced worldwide in 2020–2021.

A grass of Asian origins, sugar cane primarily thrives in tropical and subtropical climates. The federal states of Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Hawaii produce the majority of the sugar cane in the United States. Florida produced 17.1 million tons of sugar cane in 2021, and it was anticipated that it would produce nearly as much in 2022. More than half of the nation’s sugar cane was produced in Florida at this time. In the United States, about 900,000 acres of sugar cane are harvested each year, bringing in more than $1 billion in income.

Brazil was the world’s largest producer of sugar cane in 2019. Around 752.9 million metric tons of sugar cane were produced in that country, making up more than 34% of the world’s total production.

Shortly after being harvested, sugar cane is converted into raw sugar at mills before being shipped to refineries to manufacture powdered, granulated, and brown sugar. The United States produced over 7.28 million metric tons of sugar between 2019 and 2020.

Where is the sugarcane primarily grown?

The nation that has historically produced the most sugarcane in the world takes the top rank. The South American behemoth produced 29.61 MMT in 2019–20, and this was a harvest when sugar production was not even optimum because the returns from sweeteners were inferior to those from ethanol (more on this dynamic later).

Brazil’s Center-South (CS) area, which produces 90% of the country’s output, gets a lot of rain. The area is notable for having good weather for cane growth, a suitable environment for cane production, and a good transportation system. A processing capacity of cane close to 600 MMT is possible due to the favorable mix of elements.

It’s also important to keep in mind that while Brazil mostly exports raw sugar and a Brazilian invention known as “VHP raw sugar” is the most well-known raw in the world, India primarily exports low-quality white sugar.

12 Raw VHPs make up around 65% of the sugar produced in CS Brazil; the remaining 35% is made up of crystal and refined sugar, the majority of which is consumed domestically, while the remaining 5% is exported.

Not only is sugarcane crushed in Brazil to make sugar, but it is also utilized to make ethanol. And it is because of this adaptability that Brazil’s sugar market remains vibrant. Depending on the returns each commodity offers, mills will alternate between producing more sugar and more ethanol. We have observed CS output fluctuate by about 10 million tonnes from one season to the next, depending on pricing dynamics.

For instance, the mills increased sugar production in 2020/21 since Brazil’s sugar offered returns that were 300 points or more over those of ethanol. CS A total of 38.4 MM of sugar should be produced in the territory of Brazil. Approximately 12 MMT more than in 2019–20, when ethanol offered more alluring returns.

Visit this Czapp article for more information if you’re interested in learning more. Leader in the sugar and ethanol industries in Brazil, Czarnikow effectively executes transactions with some of CS Brazil’s biggest mills.