Agricultural industries in small geographical areas with limited acreage tend to be overlooked by those not associated with the growing region or industry. Sugarbeets continue to be produced in a relatively small geographic area and on relatively limited acreage in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. These factors, along with continued debate over policies affecting domestic sugar industries and recent industry expansions have prompted an analysis of the economic importance of the sugarbeet industry to the regional economy. Revenues from sugarbeet production and expenditures by processors to Montana and North Dakota entities in fiscal 2011 represented the direct economic impacts from the industry. Expenditure information was provided by Sidney Sugars Inc. and marketing cooperatives. Secondary economic impacts were estimated using input-output analysis. The sugarbeet industry, which included the growing regions in eastern Montana and western North Dakota and the Sidney, MT processing facility, planted 31,107 acres and processed 798,624 tons of sugarbeets in fiscal 2011. Production, processing, and marketing activities generated $73.9 million in direct economic impacts. Gross business volume (direct and secondary effects) from the sugarbeet industry in that region was estimated at $212.4 million. Direct and secondary employment in the industry was 186 and 805 full-time equivalent jobs, respectively. The industry paid $474,000 in property taxes and was estimated to generate another $1.8 million in sales and use, personal income, and corporate income taxes in Montana and North Dakota. In real terms, gross business volume of the sugarbeet industry in eastern Montana and western North Dakota increased 4 percent since 2003. Increases in business activity from the industry have resulted from an increase in expenditures and also were influenced by relatively high sugar prices during fiscal 2011.


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