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Sugar beet. File photo.

American Crystal Sugar announces $48/ton payment

MOORHEAD, Minn. — American Crystal Sugar Co. of Moorhead has announced a projected payment for 2018 beets at $48 per ton, with $4 per ton withheld as a "unit retain."

Tom Astrup, president and CEO, announced the payment to shareholders of the company in a series of annual factory district meetings the week ending Nov. 7. More details may be available at the company's annual meeting on Dec. 6 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

The 2018 projection compares to a $46 per ton initial projection for the 2017 beet crop.

The 2017 crop final payment was $52.85 per ton, with the last of three payments completed in early November 2018.

The first 2018 crop payment comes the week of Nov. 12, accounting for 65 percent of the $44 payment, or $28.60 per ton. The unit retain is an amount withheld from cooperative members that works like an operating loan.

The 2018 crop final yield averaged about 28.9 tons per acre, with an average sugar content of 18.14 percent. The company harvested 11.1 million tons

Astrup said anticipated sugar prices are generally stable compared to the 2017 marketing environment and will have an effect on whether the anticipated price changes.

"The biggest factor is beet storage and processing results," he says. The company anticipates the "campaign" for slicing stored beets will run into the early May.