Sugarbeet production costs varied considerably across farms and regions in the United States on both a per-acre and per-ton basis, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. Conducted in 2000, the survey asked about production and financial information relating to the 2000 sugarbeet crop. The average cost of producing a ton of sugarbeets in the U.S. was $37.30 in 2000, ranging from $15.40 to more than $60. Yields, input use, irrigation, farm size, and farm location were the major factors affect- ing cost levels. The cost per ton of producing sugarbeets generally declined as farm size increased. Lower cost growers tended to be in the Red River Valley, which typically pro- duces 50 percent of U.S. sugarbeets. Farms in the region tended to be larger than most (averaging 1,675 total acres with 329 acres of beets). Most high-cost and small family farms producing sugarbeets were in the Great Plains region. These farms tended to be less diversified than farms in other regions and contributed less to sugarbeet production. At the average price of $34.20 per ton in 2000, 88 percent of U.S. sugarbeet producers were able to cover their operating costs, 74 percent were able to cover their operating and ownership costs, and 35 percent were able to cover their total (economic) costs.


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