ERS Charts of Note

Subscribe to get highlights from our current and past research, Monday through Friday, or see our privacy policy.

Get the latest charts via email, or on our mobile app for Download the Charts of Note app on Google Play and Download the Charts of Note app on the App Store


Most sugarcane in the United States is produced in Florida and Louisiana

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sugar production in the United States comes from both sugarbeets and sugarcane. For 2012, the National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts harvested sugarcane area at 891,000 acres, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year, and harvested sugarbeet area at 1.216 million acres, which is practically the same as last year. In the United States, sugarcane is produced in four States: Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Hawaii. This chart shows sugarcane area forecasts by State for the last five crop seasons. Florida and Louisiana account for over 90 percent of the total sugarcane area with 2012 area forecasts of 410,000 acres and 420,000 acres, respectively. Relative to 2011, sugarcane area is forecast to increase by 13,000 acres (3.3 percent) in Florida and by 10,000 (2.4 percent) in Louisiana. This chart is an update of one found in the Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-287, July 2012.

As U.S. honey production plunged, imports jumped sharply in 2011

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The U.S. honey crop was hampered by drought conditions in the South and heavy rainfall in many northern States in 2011. As a result, domestic honey production dropped 16 percent in 2011 from 2010 as the number of bee colonies fell 7.5 percent and yield per colony declined 9 percent. In total, domestic production fell by 28.1 million pounds of honey, despite record-high average prices received by honey producers in both 2010 and 2011. The drop in U.S. production, coupled with high domestic honey prices, increased honey imports to 288.3 million pounds in 2011, twice the amount imported a decade ago in 2001. The top three foreign suppliers of natural honey to the United States -- Argentina, Vietnam and India -- accounted for two-thirds of total U.S. imported honey in 2011. This chart is found in the April 2012 Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-284.

Farm value of sugar rising faster than retail price

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Costs for transforming agricultural commodities into food products-transportation, processing, packaging, and other value-adding costs-can account for a substantial portion of the retail price. ERS compares prices paid by consumers with those received by farmers for many agricultural commodities to determine the farm share of the retail price. Over the last decade, the farm share of a pound of refined white sugar has varied from a low of 25 percent in 2007 to a high of 30 percent in 2010. Farm share changes from year-to-year partially reflect volatility in farm prices. The farm value of sugar rose from 13 cents to 19 cents per pound between 2007 and 2010, a larger percentage increase than the rise in retail sugar prices. More information on ERS's farm share data can be found in the Price Spreads from Farm to Consumer data set.

U.S. sugarbeet yields projected down in 2011/12

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

As noted in an earlier Chart of Note, cold and wet weather and below-average growing conditions led to late planting, a later-than-usual harvest, and lowered FY 2011 beet sugar production. As evidenced by the successively lower yield forecasts, the desired higher additional crop production did not result from the later harvest. The chart gives a historical perspective to the FY 2012 beet sugar forecast, showing a downward trend in area harvested since 1999/00. Because of the difficult planting conditions in the spring, 2011/12 planted area increased above trend as additional area was planted late to compensate for expected lower yields. The figure also shows an upward trend in sugar per harvested acre since 1999/00. The sugar yield expected in 2011/12 is far below the historical trend. This chart is found in Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-279, November 15, 2011.

U.S. sugarbeet yields-2011/12 bucks recent trend

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

National sugarbeet yield is forecast at 24.2 tons per acre. Although this yield forecast is close to the average national yield since 2000/01 of 24.1 tons per acre, it is far below yields since 2006/07. Better seed varieties, designed to minimize disease and pest losses, were responsible for enhanced yields starting in 2006/07. Annual yields since 2006/07 have averaged 26.4 tons per acre, compared with 22.1 tons for 2000/01-2005/06. Yields in the latter period were not only larger but also about 49 percent less variable. Most of the recent sugarbeet production reduction was centered in the Red River Valley producing States of Minnesota and North Dakota. Poor growing conditions for the entire season have hampered plant development and will cause the harvest season to begin later than originally expected. A late start increases the likelihood of hard freezes before the crop is fully harvested. This chart appears in the September 15, 2011 release of Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, SSS-M-277.

America's sweet tooth not as sweet as a decade earlier

Monday, August 29, 2011

In 2010, 131.9 pounds per capita of caloric sweeteners were available for consumption by U.S. consumers, up slightly from 2009, but down from the per-person high of 151.3 pounds in 1999. For the first time since 1985, total sugar available for consumption exceeded total corn sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose syrup, and dextrose). Rising sales of bottled water at the expense of HFCS-sweetened soft drinks have played a role in declining corn sweetener consumption. This chart appeared in the September 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine. More information can be found in the ,Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook report, SSS-M-273, released May 16, 2011.