In its latest reporting, USDA showed a slight decline in the overall quality of the 2022/23 sugar beet crop. For the top four growing states, beets in good to excellent condition fell from 75.0 percent to 72.3 percent of the crop. Beets in the fair category rose to 23.3 percent from 20.3 percent. The poor category rose from 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent of the crop. The very poor category fell from 2.5 percent to 2.0 percent, a slight positive sign.
Most beet sugar companies had already begun pre-piling harvesting at the end of August. For companies in the top-growing states, pre-pile harvesting covers some 15 to 25 percent of their entire crop. After poor planting conditions and delayed planting this spring, early harvest reports from the Red River Valley unsurprisingly suggested lower beet tonnage. Sugar yield could still offset some of the potential decline in sugar production, and improved weather could still support the development of beets ahead of the main harvest.
In this week’s September WASDE, USDA cut its U.S. beet sugar production estimate for 2021/22 by 53,000 STRV to 5.10 million STRV and for 2022/23 by 19,000 STRV to 5.12 million STRV.
U.S. sugar beet crop quality by category, YOY comparison
Source: NASS, McKeany-Flavell
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