Florida is the nation’s largest producer of cane sugar accounting for one in every five teaspoons consumed. The Florida sugar industry has a $2 billion economic impact and generates tens of thousands of jobs.
The Cooperative generates more than 550 full time and seasonal jobs with an annual payroll of over $30 million.
Glades Sugar House is a zero-discharge facility that recycles 850,000 gallons of water a day.
Each day during the 150-day harvest season, the Cooperative harvests 500 acres of sugarcane and delivers 1,200 truckloads of sugarcane to the processing facility, producing three million tons of sugarcane and 350,000 tons of raw sugar.
Each stalk of sugarcane contains 30 teaspoons of sugar, six teaspoons of molasses, a quart of water, and six ounces of solid fuel called bagasse. Every portion of the sugarcane stalk is used.
Approximately 20 million gallons of blackstrap molasses, primarily used as cattle feed, and produced annually. This product is marketed east of the Mississippi River and in Europe.
Farmers have achieved a long-term average annual reduction of 55 percent in nutrients leaving the farming region through the implementation of on-farm best management practices. The farming region absorbs more phosphorus, the nutrient of concern, than it receives from external sources.