Sugarcane in the News

Sugarcane in the Media
1/7/2016 The end of the Sugar Cane era in Hawaii
 KITV KAHULUI, Hawaii - The year 2016 will mark the end of an era in Hawaii. After 180 years in the state, the sugar industry is shutting down. Hawaii's last remaining plantation is phasing out its sugar operations this year. As the industry goes away, so does jobs. READ THE STORY
11/25/2015An energy firm plans to convert bagasse into biomass that can be burned in coal-fired plants without pricey retrofitting - Baton Rouge Business Report by David Jacobs
  When sugar cane is ground up, a wet, fluffy, fibrous byproduct called bagasse is produced. Sugar mills burn it to create their own energy. But there’s always a lot left over, and much of it ends up in massive piles around the mills or packed down into pits.

Bagasse has been converted into various products, such as high-quality particle boards and paper. Ceiling tiles made from bagasse were used in the construction of the Louisiana State Capitol’s House and Senate chambers, says Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League in Thibodaux.

But maintaining an economically viable market for bagasse has proven difficult.

"We keep swinging at the ball here, hoping we’re going to hit on one that makes a difference for us, because we really want to find a use for it,” Simon says.

Next up to the plate is American BioCarbon, formerly known as NFR BioEnergy, which is partnering with the Cora Texas Manufacturing sugar mill in White Castle and building a plant that it says can convert 600,000 metric tons of sugar cane waste annually into 200,000 tons of biofuel pellets. It’s the first of what state officials say could be 10 or more such facilities throughout south Louisiana, requiring a total of $312 million in capital investment and employing 450 people by 2019. READ THE STORY

11/2/2015 Too much rain making farmers; job more difficult - Daily Iberian (New Iberia)
  Daily Iberian

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and although rain is necessary for crops to grow, sugar cane has taken a beating and may take more this winter.

"The rain for a farmer is most of the time a good thing, but during harvest we really don’t like it,” Rob Judice, a farmer for Judice Farmers, said. "We were in a severe drought and burn ban, all those things. We needed it, but not 6 or 10 inches like some people got. It’s one of the necessary evils we deal with.” READ THE STORY BY DAILY IBERIAN REPORTER ASHLEY HINSON

10/30/2015Congressional delegation opposes 'land grab'
 Houma Today

Louisiana's entire congressional delegation signed a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers expressing "serious concern” over an attempt to turn nearly 500 acres of sugar-cane fields and swamps into wetlands.

On Oct. 15 the Corps of Engineers accidentally released a proposal that would take 460 acres of privately owned sugar-cane fields and swamps along La. 307 between Kraemer and Raceland and convert them into wetlands to compensate for any environmental damage caused by upgrading hurricane protection on the West Bank of New Orleans.

10/27/2015Strong winds, rain impact sugarcane crop - The Advertiser (Lafayette, La.)

Texas and parts of South Louisiana sustained tropical storm-like conditions as remnants of Hurricane Patricia rolled through over the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

The storm dumped up to five inches in Acadiana with some gusts reaching up to 30 miles an hour, NWS meteorologist Donovan Landreneau said.

Several areas of Acadiana remain flooded, and more rain is forecast for this weekend.

The weather comes at a crucial time for sugar cane farmers who are in the midst of harvesting their crop. READ THE STORY

Reported by Jessica Goff of the Daily Advertiser

10/26/2015Corps eyeing sugar cane fields near Raceland for mitigation project Corps retracts Raceland mitigation proposal until internal review can be done Congressional delegation opposes 'land grab' Houma Today ran three articles last week about wetlands mitigation and sugarcane fields.
10/26/2015Whistle a sign of cane harvest, big crop for south Louisiana - Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.)

From cane trucks to cane field stubble signs grinding season has started are everywhere, but there’s one that can only be heard and its distinctive sound on a crisp day can carry on a northerly wind for miles.

The Lafourche Sugars mill at 141 Leighton Quarters Road in Thibodaux blows a steam whistle at dawn to signal the start of morning shift, twice in the afternoon for lunch and twice in the evening for the day shift’s end. READ THE STORY

10/22/2015White Castle biomass plant on schedule to begin turning sugar cane waste into fuel in July - Baton Rouge Business Report
  The biorefinery being installed by NFR BioEnergy at a White Castle sugar mill, which will turn sugar cane waste into biomass pellets that can be burned in coal-fired plants, is on schedule to begin production in July, the company’s co-founder told those gathered at a conference hosted by the LSU AgCenter on Wednesday in conjunction with National Bioenergy Day. READ THE STORY
10/12/2015Louisiana sugarcane lesson plan available from ASCL - KATC-TV
  Sugarcane educational brochureLouisiana’s sugarcane industry, has published an educational brochure called From Louisiana’s Sugar Belt to Your Table.The full color, 16-page educational brochure is designed for students of all ages. READ THE STORY
10/9/2015 Keep safety first during sugarcane harvest - This Week in Louisiana Agriculture
  TWILA It's grinding time for Louisiana sugarcane farmers. That means more trucks and equipment will be on Louisiana roadways until January, when harvest is usually complete. TWILA's Avery Davidson travels to his hometown of New Iberia, to show us why safety on the road is life or death issue during harvest season. WATCH THE VIDEO
10/5/2015 How to stay safe sharing the road with sugarcane trucks - KLFY-TV
  KLFYThe sugarcane season kicked off Monday for many farmers in Acadiana.

Cane trucks and tractors can already be seen on most roadways. American Sugarcane League General Manager, Jim Simon, said drivers should be extra careful during this time of the year.

Story by Jazmin Thibodeaux, KLFY-TV READ THE STORY

10/5/2015 Sugarcane: Weather hurts sweet crop

Houma TodayEven as the price of sugar cane begins to rise, farmers and industry officials expect an average year for the crop due to unsteady weather conditions this year.

Sugar mills across the state are cranked up as the beginning of the grinding season is underway. For most, it began today, though some began a week ago and others will start up later this week. Usually, the harvest starts in mid- to late-September or sometimes early October. It often ends in late December. READ THE STORY

9/29/2015 Cane carts on the road, be safe - Daily Iberian

Daily IberianIt is time to share the roads and highways with oft-slower, usually larger sugar cane carts pulled by tractors or by tractor-trailer rigs, better known as 18-wheelers, with huge bins that hold the load.

Editorial by Don Shoopman, Daily Iberian READ THE STORY

9/18/2015 Federal ruling critical of Mexican sugar imports -

Houma todayReporter Jacob Batte of the Daily Comet/Houma Courier covered the Department of Commerce ruling about the U.S. trade case against Mexico.

Mexico's sugar industry has been unfairly dumping subsidized sugar onto the U.S. market, the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled Thursday.

Mexico's sugar industry was found to be dumping at margins of 40-42 percent below the value of the exported product and subsidized from 6 percent to 44 percent. Mexico's government-owned sugar mills were subsidized at 44 percent. READ THE STORY

9/17/2015 Commerce Department affirms Mexican sugar subsidies distort trade - Agri-Pulse
  Agri PulseWASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2015 - The Department of Commerce today affirmed its earlier ruling that Mexico has been unfairly subsidizing its sugar producers and dumping surplus sweetener into the U.S. market at less than fair value.

By Daniel Enoch, Agri-Pulse Communications READ THE STORY
9/9/2015 Local importance of sugarcane goes back many decades -
  Houma Today Columnist Bill Ellzey of Houma Today outlined sugarcane's contribution to Louisiana over the years.

"The sugar industry of Louisiana for nearly a century now is the dominant industry of the state. The present higher prices for cotton now make it a close competitor for leadership. Louisiana has become the chief rice producing state of the union, and the total value of the rice crop makes it one of our most conspicuous assets.

"Our crops of corn, oats, hay and vegetables are all assuming greater proportions every year, but still the sugar crop, owing to its concentration within comparatively few parishes of the state, the magnitude of the sugar factories and to the large amounts of capital necessary to carry on cane culture and sugar manufacture, make it the most conspicuous, if not actually the leading industry of our state.”

This assessment of the local importance of sugar cane was written by John Dymond, and was reprinted in the Louisiana Planter from the Sept. 1, 1906, New Orleans Picayune. READ THE STORY

9/4/2015 Hoping for a sweet sugar season -

If you drive more than a mile or two in our area, you are bound to see a field of sugar cane. At least one.

We are surrounded by sugar. It is our most important agricultural product, by far.

The planting, the cultivating, the harvesting, the grinding and the selling of sugar are all big business for our region. READ THE STORY

8/31/2015 Extreme weather could affect sugarcane harvest this year - Advocate
  Advocate newspaper logo Reporter Billy Gunn wrote "Louisiana sugar cane farmers watched helplessly this year as, day after day, rain fell through spring and into summer, saturating fields and keeping farmhands from spraying herbicide and performing other crop maintenance," in the August 3, 2015 Advocate newspaper.READ THE STORY


6/1/2015 Part III: Spotlight on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines: 2015 DGAC Alignment with Controversial WHO Guideline on Sugars is a Step Back for U.S. Standards of Evidence
 Sugar PacketThe 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) alignment with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent and controversial Guideline on Sugars undermines an important standard of scientific integrity.
5/20/2015 Souring quickly on this sweet bill - Daily Iberian, May 20, 2015

Daily IberianThere are plenty of efforts the state can undertake to fight obesity, and promote healthier lifestyles.

Special taxes on beverages and setting up a calorie police are not the best ways to do it. READ THE EDITORIAL

5/11/2015 Evolution of farm policy benefits farmers, taxpayers - Farm Policy Facts May 11, 2015
 Farm Policy Facts Some stereotypes about U.S. farm policy just won’t die.

For example, the belief that farmers get paid for not growing; or that benefits just go to big agribusinesses; or that farm spending is out of control. Such criticisms make splashy headlines but are no longer relevant thanks to the significant evolution of farm policy over the past 20 years. Over that time, government control of agriculture has given way to a system where farmers take more responsibility, make decisions based on market forces, and are asked to help fund their own safety net. READ THE STORY

5/7/2015 Spring: The Promise of a New Crop - Farm & Ranch May 2015

Daniel WebsterAmerican statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852) once famously said, "When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers therefore are the founders of human civilization.”

That’s certainly eloquent and just as true now as it was in the 19th century as it was in ancient times.

I imagine in days past agriculture seemed to travel at a slower pace than it does now. Putting a spring planting in the ground for a fall harvest still meant the field had to be prepared ahead of time just as it does today. READ THE STORY

5/6/2015 There's only one sugar

Sugar Packet

Have you seen The Sugar Association’s educational video, "There’s Only One Sugar?” The video aims to distinguish all-natural sugar from man-made sweeteners and clear up some of the consumer confusion.

3/19/2015 Ag journalist Mike Danna dies at age 54
3/2/2015 Raising cane, just like parenting, Iberia Parish farmer says - Daily Iberian, March 1, 2015
2/9/2015 Salassi receives American Sugar Cane League President's Award - LSU AgCenter
2/4/2015 Louisiana sugarcane farmers see a sweeter year ahead - The Advocate
1/30/2015 Energycane varieties look promising for north Louisiana - LSU AgCenter
1/12/2015 Uneven sugarcane harvest may be offset, somewhat, by low costs - The Advocate
12/26/2014A brief review of "Queen Sugar," a new novel set in Louisiana sugarcane fields, by Natalie Baszile. - Daily Advertiser
12/26/2014Sugar cane farmers hope to break even - Daily Comet
12/2/2014 A Cut Above: Acadiana's Economy Leans on Cane -
12/1/2014 Burning sugarcane waste saves industry millions, study says - Daily Comet
11/29/2014Sugar Cane League: Few complaints about burns - Lafayette Daily Advertiser
11/28/2014Sugarcane harvest has sweet forecast - Thibodaux Daily Comet
11/19/2014American Sugar Cane League manager Jim Simon chats with WAFB-TV anchor Graham Ulkins about safety during the 2014 sugarcane harvest.
11/18/2014Burns save sugarcane industry $120M -
11/14/2014If you had the chance to go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go? How about a Louisiana sugarcane farm? This Week In Louisiana Agriculture's 's A.J. Sabine tells us that was a North Dakota couple's first choice. - TWILA-TV
11/8/2014 Migrant workers fill the gap on Louisiana farms - The Advocate
11/6/2014 Sugarcane crop rebounds for icy winter - WBRZ-TV
11/3/2014 Louisiana sugarcane farmers in the midst of the 2014 harvest are benefitting from good weather that has made conditions easier to get their crop out of the fields, according to LSU AgCenter experts. LSU AgCenter
10/28/2014Tentative accord reached on allegations that Mexico was dumping sugar into U.S. markets - Times-Picayune
10/22/2014Cane, cars can coexist - The Daily Iberian
10/21/2014American Sugar Cane League initiates program to help motorists - Daily Iberian
10/17/2014Sugar cane workers call for safety during harvest season - WAFB Baton Rouge Channel 9
10/16/2014Sugar industry group launches driver safety campaign -; Daily Comet, Houma Courier
9/30/2014 Cane Land Distilling Company to build in Baton Rouge - Baton Rouge Business Report
9/16/2014 Louisiana Agriculture Magazine, Summer 2014 - Molecular Biology and Sugarcane Breeding in Louisiana
9/15/2014 Times-Picayune, Sept. 15, 2014 - Sugar Queens from River Parishes vie for state Queen Sugar title, Garyville woman will be honored
9/12/2014 Cooler weather stunts sugarcane ahead of harvest - WAFB-TV, Sept. 12, 2014
9/9/2014 The Advocate, Sept. 9, 2014 - Bio-energy company to use sugarcane waste at Louisiana mills
9/6/2014 The Lafayette Advertiser, Sept. 6. 2014 - Cane farmers ask for understanding
9/2/2014 Times-Picayune, Sept. 2, 2014 - Virdia to build $60 million million biochemical plant in Lafourche Parish
8/27/2014 The Advocate, August 27, 2014 - Mexican sugar ruling gets praise
8/23/2014 New "Cane Families Care" signs promote industry driver safety
  Cane Families Care (green sign)Cane Families Care

"Cane Families Care" is the theme of a new sugarcane industry initiative aimed at promoting driver safety within the industry and the motoring public. All sugarcane farmers (and any who feel a kindred connection) to the Louisiana sugarcane industry are invited to display the sign. Call the American Sugar Cane League office at 985-448-3707 or 800-883-2875 to learn how you can get one of these safety signs.

The 18" x 24" aluminum signs are designed to mount on the back of a cane wagon but can be displayed in an office window, a fence post or on the side of a building. Cost for the sign is $25.

Cane Families Care (yellow sign)
8/19/2014 Candy Costs Continue Climb Despite Sugar Price Stagnation

American Sugar AlliananceCandy Costs Continue Climb Despite Sugar Price Stagnation

From the International Sweetener Symposium:

STOWE, Vt. – Grocery shoppers in the coming year will be asked to pay more for candy despite the fact that sugar prices have remained relatively flat over the past 30 years, according to an American Sugar Alliance (ASA) report released today at the 31st International Sweetener Symposium.

"A Hershey bar cost about 35 cents in 1983, and the biggest ingredient in that bar, sugar, made up about two cents worth of its cost,” read the annual Sugar Price Survey. "By 2013, the cost of that same Hershey bar had risen to $1.39, and sugar still just constituted about 2 cents worth of its cost.” READ THE STORY

8/5/2014 Funding sought to preserve invention
  The AdvocateThe Advocate, August 4, 2014 - Sugarcane planter housed at museum

Leonard Julien tickled the ivories at night, teaching himself how to play the piano. By day, Julien farmed sugar cane, lamenting the slowness of planting the stalks by hand. Julien — a Modeste farmer who died in 1994 — liked music and he liked to tinker. He figured out an easier, simpler way to plant sugar cane, developing technology still in use today. READ THE STORY
8/5/2014 Global Sugar Subsidies Take Spotlight in New ASA Video
  American Sugar Alliance

Global Sugar Subsidies Take Spotlight in New ASA Video
From the International Sweetener Symposium:

STOWE, Vt. - Sugar is the world's most distorted commodity market and increased government involvement is fueling inefficiency, according to a new video released today by the American Sugar Alliance (ASA). Specifically, ASA discused the subsidy run-up currently underway by the world's biggest sugar producers: Brazil and India. WATCH THE VIDEO

8/4/2014 New Video Compares U.S., Mexican Sugar Industries
  American Sugar AllianceNew Video Compares U.S., Mexican Sugar Industries
From the International Sweetener Symposium

STOWE, Vt. - Returns have been low for the better part of three decades for sugar industries on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, but the two countries have dealt with the challenge far differently. That's according to a new American Sugar Alliance (ASA) video released today at the 31st International Sweetener Symposium. READ THE STORY

8/1/2014 Sugar Association calls for withdrawal of "added sugars" labeling proposal in comments filed to FDA
  Sugar AssociationSugar Association calls for withdrawal of "added sugars" labeling proposal in comments filed to FDA

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2014 – The Sugar Association (SA) filed comments today in response to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Proposed Rule, Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. SA is calling on FDA to withdraw its "added sugars” labeling proposal, noting that it represents a reversal of FDA’s long-standing science-based position on labeling.

7/29/2014 LSU AgCenter - New Sugarcane Variety Featured at St. Martin Parish Field Day
7/29/2014 The Sugar Beat - Mexican Export Subsidies Injuring U.S. Sugar Producers
7/24/2014 Bloomberg BNA - U.S. Sugar Industry Focused On Litigating Trade Cases (2014-07-24)
7/16/2014 LSU AgCenter - Sugar field day features new weed, insects
7/9/2014 Thibodaux Daily Comet - Trade Commission launches sugar investigation (2014-05-09)
5/27/2014 Lafayette Daily Advertiser - Sugar farmers carry on despite prices, diet trends (2014-05-27))
5/13/2014 ITC: Mexican sugar harming US farmers, production (2014-05-13)
5/9/2014 Lafayette Daily Advertiser - ITC to probe Mexican sugar dumping charge (2014-05-09)
4/30/2014 Sugar dumping directly affecting sugarcane farmers in Acadiana - KADN-TV, April 30, 2014



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