Farm Facts About Sugarbeets

Sugar beets

• The sugarbeet is a root crop that’s used for sugar production. In fact, more than half of the U.S. sugar production comes from sugarbeets. (Most of the rest comes from sugarcane.)

• Sugarbeets are generally grown in areas with cooler climates and offer a five-month growing season. The crop is planted in March or April and harvested in September or October.

• When fully grown, a sugarbeet is about a foot long, and it weighs between two and five pounds.

• Since sugarbeets are a perishable vegetable, they are processed at factories near the fields where they are grown. The factories generally operate around the clock, seven days a week, from October to April.

• Minnesota ranks first in national sugarbeet production, followed by North Dakota, Idaho, Michigan and Montana.

• 2010 was a good year for sugarbeets in Minnesota. State farmers produced 11.8 million tons of sugarbeets, up 11 percent from the previous year and the second-highest production recorded.

American Sugarbeet Growers Association
U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service