As anticipated by the trade, sugar beet plantings are expected to rise almost 2 percent or 6,800 acres in 2021.
In the last three seasons, poor weather depressed yields in the Red River Valley (RRV), which would typically account for about 50 percent of U.S. beet sugar production. For the next harvest, RRV plantings are higher than expected, as USDA forecasts an increase of 10,000 acres this year, with Minnesota up 8,000 to 440,000 acres and North Dakota up 2,000 acres to 223,000 acres.
In the west—Idaho, Washington, and Oregon—area planted is up only 1,800 acres. Idaho accounts for most of the estimated planting area, 173,000 acres, with Oregon and Washington at 10,000 and 2,000 acres, respectively.
Nebraska planting may rise 1,800 acres to 48,000 acres, while Wyoming may drop 3,000 acres to 28,000 acres. Montana is also expected lower, down 1,600 acres. With Colorado off another 200 acres, the total decline for the Plains is 3,000 acres.
Out east, Michigan area is forecast to drop by 2,000 acres to 155,000 acres, in line with expectations of a modest drop in plantings.