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.