A Comparison of Cost and Return Statements for Sugar Beets

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Potential growers of sugar beets in New York naturally want to know something about the profitability of this crop compared with others. They also want to know what they should expect in the way of costs and returns if they plant and harvest beets. Since sugar beets have not been grown commercially in this state for a long time local experience of farmers over a period of years is not available. Sugar beets have been grown regularly in northwestern Ohio, southeastern Michigan and southern Ontario for many years. Statements have been published recently on grower costs and returns for sugar beets in each of these three areas. Maine, another eastern state which expects to produce sugar beets, recently published some estimates of expected costs and returns in that area. All of these cost and returns statements have been developed separately using somewhat different methods. The data are based in differing degrees on farmers records and experiences. The specific years for which the statements were prepared are all different. Despite these differences the statements still provide some basis for learning more about the economic structure of the sugar beet enterprise. On the following pages a comparison is made between the four cost and returns statements. A brief summary of all four sets of cost figures is presented first. Then a more complete statement prepared from eachof the four studies is presented together with a few explanatory comments about the procedures used. Attention should be directed to the similarities as well as the differences in these four reports.
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A. E. Ext. 321
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
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