Saturday, October 10, 2015

How Sweet It Is: A Look At the Sugar Industry


American Crystal Sugar Company
Hillsboro Processing Plant
Hillsboro, ND
GPS: 47.434612, -97.062921

Sugar is the most widely used sweetener in the world, with its closest substitute being high-fructose corn syrup. Other caloric sweeteners are not significant in the global sweeteners market, but their shares are rising due to increasing cases of obesity, diabetes, and growing health concerns among people.

The global market for sweeteners totaled about $76 billion in 2012 and is projected to reach nearly $97 billion by 2017. In this market, sugar holds the majority share, about 85%. The global volume of sugar consumption is rising by about 4% per year, but the market value is dictated by sugar prices, which are extremely volatile.


Sugar Beets require fertile soil and a temperate climate while sugar cane grows in a tropical climate. Production areas for sugar beets in the US are in fertile river valleys in the north. The Red River Valley supports the crop in North Dakota and Minnesota while the production in Montana and northern Wyoming comes from the Yellowstone River Valley. The North Platte River Valley is a growing area in southeast Wyoming, western Nebraska, and northeast Colorado. Growing sugar beets is done in Idaho along the Snake River Valley, and in Oregon in the Willamette River Valley.

The American sugar industry has a significant impact on the nation’s economy. The industry creates 142,000 direct and indirect jobs in 22 states and contributes $20 billion in positive economic activity each year.

Posts about the Sugar Beet Harvest


FIRST DAY IN NORTH DAKOTA
Hillsboro, North Dakota, we have arrived

GETTING READY FOR WORK
Some paperwork to get us started

ON THE JOB TRAINING
A trip to the Hillsboro factory for some OJT

TEN DAYS OF WORK
Notes and pictures on our ten days of work

THE CAMPAIGN
A quick summary of the annual campaign of sugar beet processing

THE SUGAR BEET
Bigger than a coconut, smaller than a football. Here is the story on the sugar beet

THE PILER
I was very impressed with the big machine we worked on. I thought you might like to learn more.

THE SUGAR BEET PILE
How big is a pile that contains 90,000 tons? Here are some pictures and figures

DOWN AND DIRTY: GIVING BACK THE TARE DIRT
Harvesting root crops produces dirt. How to handle and dispose of it is an interesting side story

A LOOK AT THE SUGAR INDUSTRY
A $20 billion industry with 142,000 jobs in 22 states. Take a look at the Sugar Beet Industry

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR COMPANY
Get a closer look at the company providing this workamping opportunity.

EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS
If you are a workamper interested in short term hard work for big bucks, here’s the link