US Sugar Corporation

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The U.S. Sugar Corporation (USSC) is a privately held company, founded in 1931, based in Clewiston, Florida.[1] The company farms over 187,858 acres (760.23 km2) of land in the counties of Hendry, Glades and Palm Beach.[2] USSC currently has approximately 1,700 employees. It is the largest producer of sugarcane and refined cane sugar in the United States, with annual capacity of 700,000 tons of raw sugar, accounting for about 8.3 percent of domestic production of beet and cane sugar. The company's Southern Gardens division has extensive citrus operations, including over 30,000 acres of citrus groves, a citrus tree nursery, and a citrus processing plant with an annual capacity of 120 million gallons of juice, making it the largest U.S. supplier of bulk not-from-concentrate orange juice for private label packaging. The company also operates an internal railroad network to transport harvested sugarcane, and an independent, short line railroad, the South Central Florida Express, which provides commercial haulage of bulk commodities over 159 miles of track.[1] Production of raw sugar by USSC over the past four years ranged from 598,000 to 706,000 tons, averaging 652,600 tons (Figure 2). During this same period, the volume of sugarcane processed averaged 5.96 million tons, while production of molasses, a byproduct of sugar milling, averaged 36.7 million gallons.[1]


On 24 June 2008, Florida's Governor, Charlie Crist, announced the state is in negotiations to buy 187,000 acres (760 km2) of land from the company as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.[3] Under the proposals, the company would continue to farm the land for the next six years, after which time the state would then convert the land back to its original natural marshland state.[3]

In October 2010 the company sold 26,800 acres of land to the South Florida Water Management District [4] for the “River of Grass” Restoration Project.[5]

In an effort to power its facilities with renewable resources, the U.S. Sugar Corporation began using resources such as sugar cane bagasse for its Breakthrough Project, in which The Boiler 8 was built. The Boiler 8 produces steam during the milling process by burning bagasse. Steam is co-generated into electricity on-site. In essence, each year’s cane crop provides power for both the sugar factory and U.S. Sugar’s refinery operations.[5]

They are also exploring building a 100 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Clewiston, Florida. The facility would convert leftover sugar cane material into ethanol and would help Florida meet its aggressive second-generation ethanol goals.[5]

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  1. ^ a b c "Economic Impacts of the U.S. Sugar Corporation in Florida". University of FLorida IFAS Extension. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Sugar Corp. (About)". U.S. Sugar Corp. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  3. ^ a b Schor, Elana (2008-06-24). "Florida to buy 187,000 farmland acres to preserve Everglades". Guardian. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Sugar Corp. (Company History)". U.S. Sugar Corp. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  5. ^ a b c "U.S. Sugar Corp. (Environmental Stewardship)". U.S. Sugar Corp. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 

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