The sugarbeet is a root crop that flourishes in temperate climates where the growing season is about five months long. Farms can be found in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
Beets are planted in late March/early April and harvested in late September and October. When fully grown, a sugarbeet is about a foot long, weighs two-to-five pounds, and is about 18% sucrose. They are processed at 23 factories that are located near the fields, because beets are a perishable vegetable. Factories generally operate around the clock, seven days a week, from October through April. Beet sugar represents about 54% of domestically-produced sugar. There is no difference between beet and cane sugar.
Some beet sugar brands you might recognize are: Crystal Sugar, Holly Sugar, Western Sugar, Big Chief Sugar, Pioneer Sugar, White Satin, and Spreckels Sugar.