U.S.D.A. pegs sugar beet area down 2% from 2012

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its March 28 Prospective Plantings report said growers intend to plant 2% fewer acres to sugar beets in 2013 than in 2012.

The intended 2013 planted area was forecast at 1,211,100 acres, down 19,000 acres, or about 2%, from 1,230,100 acres planted in 2012.

“Planted area is expected to decrease from the previous year in 6 of the 10 estimating states,” the U.S.D.A. said.

Sugar beet planted area was forecast at 230,000 acres in North Dakota, up 4% from 2012, and at 39,000 acres in Wyoming, up 23%, the U.S.D.A. said. Intended area in California was unchanged at 24,500 acres, and also was unchanged in Michigan at 154,000 acres. Decreases were expected in Minnesota at 460,000 acres (down 3%), Idaho at 176,000 acres (down 4%), Colorado at 29,100 acres (down 7%), Montana at 44,200 acres (down 5%), Nebraska at 43,800 acres (down 14%), and Oregon at 10,500 acres (down 5%).

Some in the trade had anticipated planted area to decrease as much as 9% due to sharply lower beet sugar prices from 2012 and strong prices for competitive crops, such as corn and soybeans.
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