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University of Minnesota Extension

Economic contribution of the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC)

Beet sugar fields

Key findings

Beet production and sugar extraction: In 2017, Minnesota produced 12.5 million tons of sugarbeets, making it the United States’ largest sugarbeet producing state. Minnesota’s 2017 production was the largest recorded harvest. It accounted for 35 percent of national production.

Direct effect of sugarbeet production: Sugarbeet growers (shareholders of SMBSC) spent an estimated $159.8 million to produce their 2017 crop. This includes $28.0 million in labor income.

Direct effect of beet sugar extraction: In FY 2017-2018, SMBSC spent $198.5 million to operate (not including the purchase of sugarbeets). This included $61.0 million in payments for labor. The Cooperative employed 830 workers.

Total economic contribution: In total, SMBSC contributed an estimated $708.5 million in economic activity to the 20 county region in 2017. The Cooperative supported 4,965 jobs. It contributed $197.5 million of income to regional residents. It also contributed $19.9 million in taxes to local and state governments.

Economic Contribution in Minnesota: In 2017, SMBSC generated an estimated $817.8 million in economic activity in the state, including $227.9 million in labor income. SMBSC supported 5,240 jobs in the state.

About this report

Minnesota is the nation’s leading sugarbeet producer. As a result, sugarbeets play an important role in the state’s economy. Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, located in Renville, is a major beet sugar extraction cooperative. Five hundred twelve shareholders annually grow approximately 3.6 million tons of sugarbeets, producing up to 1 billion pounds of pure white sugar.

Given its production and extraction role, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative (SMBSC) wanted to understand its contribution to the regional and state economy. SMBSC hired University of Minnesota Extension to conduct an economic contribution analysis. The primary study area for the analysis is the 20-county region in which SMBSC shareholders grow sugarbeets. Counties included are Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Douglas, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Nicollet, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Watonwan and Yellow Medicine.

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Author: Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Reviewed in 2019

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