Based on survey results, USDA is forecasting prospective plantings of sugar beets for the next crop at 1.113 million acres, down 1.6 percent from the last crop’s 1.131 million acres. Though major producer states Michigan and Minnesota saw modestly higher prospective plantings, up 1.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, declines were seen for most other states. Prospective plantings for North Dakota, the second largest grower state after Minnesota, were reported down 7.0 percent year on year.

If realized, this would be the seventh year of steady acreage reductions and the lowest planted area in 11 years. As the chart below shows, overall declines in total U.S. plantings have not prevented gains in beet sugar production in the last decade. The news did not seem to spark much reaction in domestic sugar futures, either for 2018 or 2019.

U.S. sugar beet plantings vs. beet sugar production

Source: USDA, McKeany-Flavell
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