Sugar is in practically all foods in a supermarket shop. Sugar is used in ketchup and tomato sauces, too! A typical American’s daily intake of added sugar is approximately 17 tablespoons. Sugar canes, which require a particular environment to develop and thrive, are the source of raw sugar. In the US, sugarcane is only widely grown in a few number of states. Find out which states produce the most sugar by reading on.
Let’s take a closer look at this amazing plant before discussing sugarcane production in the US. The thick, long perennial plant known as sugarcane is used to make sugar. They have a maximum height of 20 feet. The majority of sugarcane used to produce sugar is a hybrid.
Brazil is the nation that produces the most sugar, despite the United States generating a lot of it as well. Humid and warm climates are ideal for sugarcane growth. In addition to needing a lot of water, this tall grass prefers light, loamy soils with adequate drainage. You can consume sugarcane raw, even though it’s used to make sugar. However, because the sugarcane pulp is thick and nearly woody, it is better to chew and suck on the interior of the cane instead of swallowing it.
In the US, Florida is the state that produces the most sugar. This warm state yielded 17.34 million tons of sugarcane in 2020. This makes up just over half of the nation’s sugarcane production. So, where in Florida can one find sugarcane? 440,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) are used to grow this crop. Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida is the biggest sugarcane producer in the state (and nation).
Not native to the state or even the continent, sugar cane grows well in Florida because it is a humid plant. Rather, areas of India, Southeast Asia, and New Guinea are the native home of sugarcane.
What is the background of sugarcane in Florida, then? Since roughly 1767, sugarcane has been farmed in Florida. Most likely, in the 1760s, New Smyrna saw the establishment of the first sugarcane plantation for commercial use.
Not unexpectedly, Louisiana is the nation’s second-largest producer of sugar, after Florida. For many years, they were the second-biggest sugar producers in the United States, but things are starting to change. Louisiana generated over 2 million tons of raw sugar in 2020. According to the American Sugar Cane League, Louisiana was the biggest producer of sugarcane in the U.S. The state might keep beating Florida if it keeps up its output growth!
There are eleven sugar mills in Louisiana at the moment. Pointe Coupee Parish is the parish that produces the most sugarcane. Pointe Coupee Parish has a surface area of 591 square miles and is a part of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
When sugarcane was introduced to Louisiana in 1751 by Jesuit monks, the state’s sugarcane history officially began. Growth and output increased swiftly. In the Louisiana Territory, Étienne de Boré granulated sugar crystals for the first time in 1795.
Texas is the country’s second-largest producer of sugar, after Louisiana. Texas produces far less than either Florida or Louisiana, while ranking third on our list. An estimated 1.5 million tons of sugarcane are gathered in Texas each year, though this figure could change.
So where in the state is sugarcane produced and grown? Despite its vast size—nearly 270,000 square miles—not all of Texas is suitable for the cultivation of sugarcane. Texas uses the lower Rio Grande Valley to cultivate and produce sugarcane. The southernmost point of Texas has an ideal climate for sugarcane cultivation, with long, hot summers and short, warm winters. It is impossible for sugarcane to grow in frigid weather.
Texas began cultivating sugarcane in the 19th century, roughly a century after Florida and Louisiana did.
Although Hawaii is worth highlighting for its long history of producing and shipping sugarcane, production is gone. Even though it is no longer produced, sugarcane is still seen growing on the islands. Hawaii produced over 165,000 tons of sugarcane in 2015.
Sugarcane was transported to Hawaii hundreds of years ago, and sugarcane was growing there long before sugar mills and plantations were constructed. The Ladd & Company sugar plantation was the first prosperous sugar business in the Hawaiian islands. The corporation was started in 1835. In actuality, however, John Wilkinson most likely established Hawaii’s first sugar plantation in Manoa Valley around 1825. It did not achieve great success.
Native Hawaiian strikes at the Old Sugar Mill in Kōloa demanded equitable treatment and increased wages. During the 1840s, workers were only getting paid $0.125 a day. The Old Sugar Mill ultimately closed in 1996 and is now a National Historic Landmark.