Sugarcane production for 2018

Steve Borel, LSU AgCenter / Guest Contributor

In 2018, sugarcane was grown on 459,217 acres in 24 parishes. An estimated 429,368 acres were harvested for sugar the rest was used for seed cane. The 11 sugarcane mills processed 16,867,699 tons of cane yielding 1.841 million short tons of sugar.

The average sugar recovery at the mills was 218.3 pounds of sugar per ton of cane. The average yield of cane produced per harvested acre amounted to 39.3 tons.

So the final yield of sugar on a per acre basis was approximately 8,577 pounds for the 2018 season. Note, many growers in West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes had higher yields.

The total crop value of raw sugar and molasses for the 2018 year is estimated at 1,006,218,367. This price assumes a raw sugar price of $0.26 per pound and a molasses price of $0.57 per gallon.

This is an increase of around 2 percent or $17,266,980 over 2017. This increase can be attributed to the expansion in harvested acres of nearly 20,000 acres. This increase in acres will likely continue for at least the next few years. Information for this article came from Michael Deliberto economist with the LSU AgCenter.