Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, had some pretty sobering things to say about the sugar market when he spoke at the 51st International Sugarbeet Institute in Fargo this week. (See chart.)
The charts show the market heading into forfeiture country. Farmers at the meeting were asking questions about the value of sugar going through an ethanol process. (Answer: 5-10 cents, possibly 6-7 cents per pound, but who knows?) We haven’t heard much of that kind of talk since the early 2000s.
The result? There seems to be some slippage in values of beet sugar cooperative share values in the Red River Valley (although still strong) and farmers are weighing values of joint venture (limited partnership) arrangements. See Agweek 3-18-2013, for details on all of this.
With a prospect for an actual cost to the no-cost sugar program, 2013 (or 2014?) is likely to be more challenging to pass a sugar program than it would have been in 2012. Anyone have any thoughts on that?