The USDA is re-assigning beet sugar marketing allocations and adjusting tariff rate quotas to meet a sugar stocks-to-use ratio of at least 13.5 percent for the 2020 fiscal year. “The USDA realized we need to import more sugar than usual. In a normal year, we import about 25 to 30 percent of sugar needs,” said Jack Roney, director of economics and policy analysis, American Sugar Alliance. “This year, that percentage will go higher than that due to the disappointing crop. We’ll still have a balanced market. Producers are already preparing to plant the next crop.” Roney said planted acreage may not be impacted by the 2019 harvest. “In the latest prospective plantings report, Minnesota farmers intend to increase sugarbeet plantings by 3,000 acres and North Dakota farmers intend to increase plantings by about 2,000 acres. I think that’s positive. As terrible as the last year was for farmers, this is optimistic.”
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