Monday, January 4, 2016

Michigan Sugar expanding

Michigan Sugar Company is investing $125 million over the next five years to expand its beet-processing plants at Bay City, Caro, Sebewaing and Croswell.

The company processes the harvest from Ontario farmers in Essex, Kent and Lambton.

About $20 million will go toward the Bay City-based, grower-owned co-operative's agricultural department.

Another $57 million will go over the next five years into the Croswell facility in Michigan's Thumb Region. The investment will complete operation upgrades at the plant.

"This will allow us to produce more beets there and use all of our plants at full capacity," Michigan Sugar community and government relations director Ray Van Driessche said.

Ontario and Michigan growers enjoyed a record harvest last year, but breaking yield records has become routine.

Michigan Sugar announced earlier in December that its total 2015 production was roughly five million tons, representing a record-setting yield of 31.6 tons an acre. Ontario’s harvest is estimated at about 340,000 tons and the sugar content has also been high.

The co-op markets sugar under the Pioneer Sugar and Big Chief sugar brands.