Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Clewiston is in the heart of Florida's sugar industry. The U. S. Sugar Corporation, located here in Clewiston, is the nation's largest producer of raw and refine cane sugar and Clewiston is known as "America's Sweetest Town."

Since I grew up in sugar beet country I was interested in seeing how cane is harvested. Beets are harvested in autumn by digging them out of the ground. They are then transported to the factory by large trucks. Sugar beets are a rotational crop which requires nearly four times the land area of an equivalent cane crop. Also, because beets come from the ground they are much dirtier than sugar cane and have to be thoroughly washed and separated from any remaing beet leaves, stones, and other trash before being processed. Sugar cane is harvested by chpping down the stems but leaving the roots so that it re-grows in time for the next crop.

Sugar cane is a sub-tropical and tropical crop that prefers lots of sun and lots of water It typically takes about 12 months to reach maturity. Where it differs from many crops is that it re-grows from the roots so the plant lasts many cycles before it is worn out.
And that's your lesson on sugar for today.

I took some additional pictures of the sugar cane harvest and the factory.


  1. As a child I grew up in Daytona Beach and remember my mom and dad taking my brother and I to the sugar cane fields. I remember sucking on the sugar canes and how sweet it was. I am sure that was an interesting visit.

    Take care,
    Mike and Gerri (happytrails)
    class of 2009

  2. Enjoyed the sugar cane post. When we lived in Juno Beach we often drove across the state to St. Petersburg to visit my aunt. I remember seeing so much sugar cane and the smoke from the burnings. My dad loved to drive and not stop anywhere so we never got to see the sugar cane up close or learn anything about it.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.