By Mike Spieker
FARGO, N.D. – American Crystal Sugar Company held its annual shareholders meeting December 7th in Fargo. Tom Astrup, the co-op’s president and CEO said the projected initial gross beet payment for the 2017 crop is $46 per ton.
That projected payment is higher than last year’s final payment of $42.45 per ton, mainly because the sugar content of the 2017 crop was higher than that of 2016.
The 2016 sugarbeet crop yielded a record average of 30.4 tons per acres, with an average sugar content of 17.02 percent, stated a release by American Crystal. Better than forecasted sugar prices and good operating results in 2016, including lower operating costs combined to raise the final payment over estimates made earlier in the year. The total shareholder payments for the 2016 crop reached $500 million.
While the 2017 crop didn’t quite reach last year’s record, shareholders still produced a solid 30.2 tons per acre. What may be more important, however, was the higher sugar content of this year’s crop, which came in at 18.11 percent.
So Far, So Good
Despite the warmer than average temperatures in the Red River Valley, Astrup says the sugarbeets are storing nicely. “So far, the weather has been almost ideal,” he said. “We’ve had cool weather in late October and November. Now we are receiving our first shot of winter, which has allowed us to turn on the fans to freeze those beets down.”
Red River Valley sugarbeet growers produced an overall tonnage record for American Crystal in 2017, coming in at 12 million tons grown on 400,000 acres. That mark broke the previous record set in 2006 at 11.91 million ton grown on 500,000 acres.
Astrup says he expects the processing campaign to run until the end of May at a few of American Crystal’s factories.
By Mike Spieker
FARGO, N.D. – American Crystal Sugar Company held their annual shareholders meeting Thursday at the Fargo Holiday Inn. Tom Astrup, president and CEO of American Crystal announced the expansion of the company’s Drayton, N.D factory.
The project is expected to increase the factory’s output by 30% and increase output five to seven percent companywide. American Crystal spent between $20 million and $25 million on the expansion during the summer of 2017. The estimated total of the four-year project is estimated to be around $100 million.
In 2017, American Crystal shareholders produced a record 12 million ton crop on just 400,000 acres – 100,000 less than 10 years ago. With the higher yields, American Crystal is looking to “take advantage of the yield increases” by increasing their processing capacity, says Astrup.
“It probably doesn’t mean there will be more acres of sugarbeets,” said Astrup on the expansion at the Drayton factory. “What is probably means is if yields continue to increase, acres won’t decline as much as they have in the past.”
Of the company’s five plants, Astrup explains why Drayton was selected for the expansion – “It’s economics,” he said. “We have more beets grown in the Drayton factory district than we can process there.” As a result, excess sugarbeets are trucked south to other factories for processing. The Drayton expansion will significantly reduce those freight costs.
Before the expansion, Drayton averaged a 6,900 ton/day capacity. When completed, the factory is expected to be operated at 9,000 ton/day.
It is an evening dedicated to honoring individuals and organizations who have provided leadership and who have aided in the development of the University of Minnesota Crookston, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension.Times Report
It is an evening dedicated to honoring individuals and organizations who have provided leadership and who have aided in the development of the University of Minnesota Crookston, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension.
The annual Torch & Shield Recognition was held on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. This year two organizations and one individual received the prestigious award: Justin Dagen, Bremer Bank, and American Crystal Sugar.
Hosting the evening’s event were Albert Sims, head of the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Two students were featured during the program, which celebrated the region’s agricultural roots. Senior Natalye Kobetsky, a business management and agronomy double major from Grand Forks, N.D., represented student scholarship recipients in a speech that focused on those who have believed in her. Senior Cassandra Morthera, a communication major from Mexico City, Mexico, presented her creative works project—a video depicting the ingredients that make up the experience of earning a bachelor’s degree at the U of M Crookston.
Members of the President’s Club were recognized on stage by Chief Development Officer Brandy Chaffee and Jan Sickbert, associate vice president of college and campus programs and representative of the University of Minnesota Foundation.
For more than 135 years, the Dagen family has been farming in the Red River Valley of Kittson County in Karlstad, Minnesota. Located in the most northwest corner of Minnesota, adjacent to North Dakota to the west and Manitoba, Canada, to the north, the Dagens have been turning over the Minnesota farmland for five generations.
In 2011, Justin Dagen served as the president of the National Potato Council, and as a Minnesota representative on the Board of Directors of the National Potato Council from 1996 to 2017. Dagen also serves as the vice president of Agrasure Board of Directors representing the Drayton Factory of the American Crystal Sugar Cooperative.
He keeps ahead of issues on his farm and in farming by working closely with University of Minnesota Extension and helping to inform them as well as receiving valuable information that informs his management decisions.
Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held, $11 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by the Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer employees. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, and provides a comprehensive range of banking, wealth management, investment, trust, and insurance products and services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Clients include individuals and families, mid-sized corporations, small businesses, agribusinesses, nonprofits, and public and government entities.
Bremer Bank is committed to the University of Minnesota Crookston, partnering in many ways from significant ongoing financial contributions, employee involvement, establishing relationships with faculty, staff, and students, employing U of M Crookston students and graduates, and showing their support by wearing maroon and gold on Fridays.
American Crystal Sugar Company is a world-class agricultural cooperative specializing in the production of sugar and related agri-products. American Crystal is owned by 2,750 shareholders who raise approximately one-third of the nation’s sugarbeet acreage in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota.
As the largest beet sugar producer in the United States, the company utilizes innovative farming practices, low-cost production methods, and sales and marketing leadership to produce and sell about 15 percent of America’s finest quality sugar.
American Crystal Sugar has collaborated with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center since the early 1970s on field-sized sugarbeet research production acreage.
They are a member of the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board, which aids in supplying substantial funding through grower check-off for sugarbeet research.
The company participates in campus career fairs, employs a significant number of U of M Crookston alumni, and positively impacts the community through contributions, scholarships, and volunteerism. Their technical services center and corporate headquarters are located in Moorhead, Minnesota.
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November 16, 2017 at 10:32AM