Sidney Sugars Announces It Will Cease Operations In April
February 8, 2023 | View PDF
Sugar beet contracting closed Feb. 1, and Sidney Sugars announced Feb. 6 that the factory will be closing due to insufficient acreage.
"Last year there were only 18,400 acres contracted. The year before that, 30,774. With only 19,500 acres of sugar beets offered in the region for this coming spring, the Sidney operation is simply unprofitable," said Steve Rosenau, American Crystal Sugar Company Vice President of Agriculture and Chief Operating Officer of Sidney Sugars, Inc.
On Dec. 21, 2022 a letter went out to sugar beet growers explaining that Sidney Sugars was requiring approximately 25,000 acres to be contracted for 2023 in order for the factory to continue operations. It was also estimated that 30,000 acres would be required following 2023. These numbers are in comparison to as many as 45,000 acres that growers committed in the 1990s.
"We have had a mutually beneficial partnership up to this point in time, and sugar beets have been a stable rotational crop for the region," Rosenau reflected. "Sidney farmers have consistently delivered some of the highest quality sugar beet crops and received some of the strongest beet payments in the industry during their span with American Crystal."
American Crystal Sugar Company bought the Holly Sugar Corporation from Imperial Sugars in October 2002. Growers will receive final payments in November 2023.
The factory will continue with cleanup and will close sugar processing operations April 14, however warehouse operations will continue into the summer until all finished product inventory has been shipped. Sidney Sugars employs about 300 individuals who were given 60 day's notice that the nearly 100 year old factory will be closing.
"Employees will receive severance packages and we have provided a number of resources to assist them with job searches, including offering opportunities to join other American Crystal factories in the Red River Valley," said Rosenau.
More information will be published as this story develops.