The Michigan Sugar Beet Growers, a newly formed cooperative, has voted to move ahead with plans to buy the four Michigan Sugar Company plants from Imperial Sugar. So far, growers have committed over 100,000 acres, close to their 125,000-acre goal.
Cooperative members will solicit for the final acres over the next new months. When they reach the limit, membership will be closed.
The Michigan Legislature is debating on a bill that could make things easier for the growers. The proposed bill offers the cooperative a zero-interest, $5-million loan from the Department of Agriculture.
The cooperative's effort started last year when grower members signed a purchase agreement to buy the four factories for $83.5 million. Growers have been asked to make an advance payment of $200 per acre of sugarbeets they wish to commit.