According to last Friday’s news release from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, American sugar growers are still able to stick it to American consumers. Well, no, that is not an exact quote from USDA economists, but they aren’t allowed to speak directly. Instead, they present a colorful graph with a damning title and caption:
These subsidy and other sugar industry problems were addressed at the June 20 Big Sugar Summit hosted by the Sierra Club of Florida. Florida is a major U.S. sugar producer, which has all kinds of water implications. For example, seepage irrigation for Florida sugar cane requires about 110 gallons for each pound of sugar. The Florida sugar industry uses collectively (depending on rainfall conditions) about 400-1000 mgd of water.
All of that is is facilitated by an expensive array of trade policy protections. Straightforward capitalism, and free markets, would make a lot more economic and environmental sense.