Sidney Sugars to close this year
SIDNEY, M.T. (KUMV) - Sugar beet harvest operations in Sidney, Montana, will come to an end this year.
Officials with the American Crystal Sugar Company announced Monday that the Sidney Sugars plant will close following the end of processing in April. Chief Operating Officer of Sidney Sugars Steve Rosenau said there has been an inadequate interest in growing sugar beets in the region.
“Last year there were only 18,400 acres contracted. The year before that, 30,774. With only 19,500 acres of sugar beets offered in the region for this coming spring, the Sidney operation is simply unprofitable,” Rosenau said in a statement.
“It’s a very sad day in our community,” said Sidney Mayor Rick Norby. “They have been a part of our community for almost 100 years. There’s going to be some changes within our community, of course. You’ve lost tax revenue, so it’s going to be devastating.”
The facility employs up to 300 employees.
Rosenau said employees will receive severance packages and opportunities to join other factories employed with American Crystal.
Growers will receive all final payments in November.
Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-MT) said in a statement: “I am disappointed to hear that American Crystal will be closing the Sidney factory after the conclusion of this year’s campaign. The factory and sugar beet industry have been a large part of Sidney and the surrounding communities for over 100 years. The loss of 300 jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact will certainly be a detriment to our entire region. I am hopeful that this will not be a permanent closure and production can continue in the future.”
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