September 19, 2023

US Department of Agriculture awards $50 million grant to sugar beet industry – Agweek

The United States Department of Agriculture awarded $50 million to the American Sugarbeet Growers Association and the US Beet Sugar Association for the Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program.

Funding from the Multi-Partner Partnership Prize will be used to make sugar a climate-smart product by implementing climate-smart production practices, improving and improving business practices for climate-smart products, and using data and information collected to inform future standards.

“Every day, members of our cooperative use cutting-edge technology to ensure the reliability and durability of our products,” Cassie Bladow, president of the US Beet Sugar Association, said in a press release. “We look forward to expanding these methods with our project partners and the USDA.”

The initiative, which will include the entire U.S. sugar beet industry, will help beet growers better respond to markets that increasingly demand sustainably produced food, she said. .

“The beet sugar industry, which is tied to more than one million acres annually, is committed to implementing climate-smart production practices around nutrient management,” said Carrie Meadows, vice president of government affairs for the US Beet Sugar Association.

The proposal provides a unique opportunity to develop and scale beet sugar as a climate-smart product, Meadows said.

Sugar beet cooperatives and farmers will use grant resources to set up nutrient management projects to help growers implement, track and verify the value of climate-smart farming practices. Through this, the beet sugar industry will collectively be able to implement diverse projects across beet sugar growing areas, encompassing different soil types, topographies and water uses, a- she declared.

The American Sugar Beet Growers Association appreciates the opportunity to work with the USDA on the project, said Luther Markwart, the association’s executive vice president.

“Our family farmers are eager to demonstrate the climate-smart members of their crops, as well as our project partners,” Markwart said.

Funding from the project will be used to incentivize farmers in sugar-growing areas to carry out nutrient management projects. Farmer-owned cooperatives will provide technical assistance, support and data collection. The project aims to give farmers the tools they need to adapt to changing market conditions and meet consumer demands for sustainably produced food.

In addition to the US Beet Sugar Association and the American Sugarbeet Association, project partners include the Edge Dairy Farmers Co-op, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and the Minnesota Farm Bureau.