The Economics of Sugar Beet Production in Alberta 2011

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Sugar beet is a biennial plant that grows best in rich, deep soil and temperate climate. Sugar beet production is well suited for the irrigated land in southern Alberta. Sugar beets are 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. 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,

Alberta. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) have been monitoring the costs and returns of livestock and crop production in the province in an extensive way since the 1960s. These studies have been viewed as an important tool for assisting producers in their cropping decisions as well as for developing policies and programs for the different farm enterprises in the province and Canada. Where information gaps existed in other provinces, results from these studies have served as the basis to fill those gaps.

Sugar beet production costs and returns in Alberta have been monitored since the early 1970s. The 2011 cost and return study is a continuing effort to monitor changes in the sugar beet industry in the province. This year's information, like previous years, would be used for several purposes including policy and program development for the sugar beet industry. Results of the cost of production studies have been helpful in contract negotiations between the Sugar Beet Board and the sugar factory executives in Taber. It has also been helpful to growers in managing their farms.

Major objectives of the study are:
i. To develop production costs and returns for sugar beet production in Alberta.
ii. To assist sugar beet growers with farm budgeting and planning.
iii. To analyze economies of scale; machine use and input/output relationships for
sugar beet

Click here for a PDF of the full report.

Source: Agdex 171/821-5. 2014.

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This document is maintained by Jennifer Rutter.
This information published to the web on December 31, 2008.
Last Reviewed/Revised on September 27, 2018.