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On March 29th, the USDA released the Prospective Plantings report for 2018. The forecast calls for 1,112,900 planted acres of sugarbeets – down two percent from last year’s 1,131,200 planted acres.
As usual, Minnesota leads the beet states with a projected planted acreage of 422,700. That is followed by North Dakota at 199,100. If the projection holds true for North Dakota, it will be the first time since 1993 the Peace Garden State plants less than 200,000 acres of beets. Idaho and Michigan are the other two states projected to plant over 100,000 acre at 163,400 and 146,500 acres, respectively.
The biggest forecasted increase, percentage-wise, is for Oregon. The USDA expects 2018 planted sugarbeet acreage of 100,700, compared to 91,000 in 2017.
The all-time record for U.S. planted sugarbeet acreage occurred in 1969, when farmers planted 1,647,100 acres of the crop. The lowest planted acreage number since the early 1960s came in 1982, when U.S. farmers planted 1,054,200 acres of beets. More recently, there were 1,090,700 acres planted in 2008.