American Crystal Sugar says 2020 sugar beet crop looks more promising than 2019

Total harvested tons increased from 7.5 million in 2019 to 10.1 million in 2020.

MOORHEAD, Minn.- American Crystal Sugar hosts annual virtually to look back at the 2019 crop year.

2019 looked like a favorable year for American Crystal Sugar company.

Then our weather decided to change those plans.

A combination of constant rains and unusually below average temperatures made for saturated then frozen fields across the region.

“Last year was just something we’ve never experienced and most of our shareholders have never experienced,” says the President of American Crystal Sugar Tom Astrup.

About 30 percent of the crop was left unharvested.

Crystal Sugar had to adjust to a new way of working amid the pandemic.

“You know, we’re doing everything you’ve heard and read about from avoiding gatherings of employees, requiring masks, taking temperatures as they enter the facilities,” says Astrup.

But as the company reflected on last year’s obstacles, they say this year things are looking more promising.

According to the President of American Crystal Sugar Thomas Astrup, harvest was quick and temperatures were near perfect.

“We do have a bigger crop, which allows us to spread into fixed costs of the business more efficiently. I mean that’s one of the huge, huge problems we had last year with the short crop. It’s hit on the beet payment, because of the lower volume. This crop also had higher sugar content, almost a point higher sugar content and that’s what we do. We sell sugar. So, that drives up the value of every ton of beet as well,” says Astrup.

The 2019 sugar beet crop supplied an average of 26.9 tons per acre, which was down from the five year average of 28.1 tons.

Total harvested tons increased from 7.5 million in 2019 to 10.1 million in 2020.

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