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sugar beet harvest

American Crystal Sugar Closing Montana Plant due to Lack of Local Sugar Beet Supply

Feb. 7, 2023
Sidney Sugars Inc. beet processing plant will close, with a lack of sugar beet supply in the region cited as the catalyst for the decision to shutter the facility.

Moorhead, Minn.-based American Crystal Sugar Co. announced it will close its Sidney, Mont., beet processing plant, citing a lack of sugar beet supply in the region as the catalyst for the decision to shutter the facility.

The 100-year-old operation previously had adequate regional acreage of sugar beets to support production, but Steve Rosenau, American Crystal Sugar Company vice president of Agriculture for American Crystal Sugar Co. and CEO of Sidney Sugars, explained that sugar beet acreage had declined in 2022 and in 2023 forecasts to approximately half of its peak in the 1990s.

“With only 19,500 acres of sugar beets offered in the region for this coming spring, the Sidney operation is simply unprofitable,” Rosenau said.

The plant was purchased by American Crystal Sugar in 2002 from the Imperial Sugar Company and renamed Sidney Sugars Inc. Approximately 300 employees will lose their jobs because of the closure, though the company says it has begun to offer severance packages and the opportunity to transfer to other nearby facilities.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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