Economics of Sugar Beet Production in Alberta

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Sugar beet is a biennial plant that grows best in rich, deep soil and temperate climate. It is a rotation crop, planted once every four years to minimize potential disease problems. It is land and labour intensive and is grown with supplementary irrigation. Sugar beet production is well suited for the irrigated land in southern Alberta. Seeding begins in early spring and continues to the end of May. Harvesting usually starts in September and is completed by November depending on the start date. Currently, all sugar beets are grown only under contract with Lantic Inc., which operates the processing plant located in Taber.

The Economics Branch of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) have been monitoring sugar beet production costs and returns since the early 1970’s. This program is a valuable source of information on benchmarks (averages) for sugar beets grown in Alberta. Results from these studies have been used for several purposes including policy and program development for the sugar beet industry. It has also been helpful to growers in managing their business as well as to the sugar beet board in price negotiations.

The objectives of this publication are:
  • To develop production costs and returns for sugar beet production in Alberta.
  • To assist sugar beet growers with farm budgeting and planning.
  • To analyze economies of scale; machine use and input/output relationships for
    sugar beet.
For a PDF of the full report for any of the years in the table below, click on the year.

The Economics of Sugar Beet Production in Alberta
Production Year:
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Emmanuel Laate.
This document is maintained by Shukun Guan.
This information published to the web on April 9, 2014.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 17, 2014.