Sugarbeet growers want improved loan rates in next farm bill

Sugarbeet growers are asking Congress for the nation’s sugar policy to better reflect today’s costs.

Michigan farmer Allyson Maxwell, while testifying before a recent Senate Ag Committee hearing on the farm bill, says the U.S. Sugar program operates at no cost to taxpayers, but loan rates authorized by the farm bill need improvement.

“The loan rate for refined beet sugar has not kept up with inflation nor the steeply rising costs of production,” she says.  “We would support looking at how the farm safety net could better match actual costs for producers.”

Since the 1980s, the cost of refined sugar has increased by less than 40 percent while inputs have risen nearly 90 to more than 250 percent according to the American Sugar Alliance.

USDA loans offer interim financing to sugar producers so commodities can be stored after harvest and then sold later when price conditions are more favorable.

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