Agricultural experts consider sugar cane an ideal and environmentally friendly crop because it requires few chemicals and only small amounts of fertilizers for successful cultivation. The land on which that sugar cane is grown is the principal asset of an agricultural company, therefore good stewardship of that land and the protection and Florida’s unique environment are top priorities for U.S. Sugar.

Environmental Stewardship Because of its concern for the environment, U.S. Sugar supported the 1994 Everglades Forever Act, legislation that imposed on farmers the toughest water quality regulations of any farmers in America. The Company, along with other sugar farmers, agreed to be taxed more than $300 million over 20 years to clean the water leaving their farms. The company also supported 2003 state legislation, which ensures a continuation of funding and implementation of the 1994 Everglades Forever Act.

Additionally, U.S. Sugar supported the plan to replumb the water flow and delivery system in South Florida, called Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).

Today the Company adheres to strict on-farm water quality and water conservation programs (Best Management Practices) including a zero-discharge wastewater management program at its sugar mills. As a result of these efforts, thousands of wading birds and other native South Florida species make their homes on U.S. Sugar land. Today, the American bald eagle and other rare migratory species find safe and hospitable habitats in the Company’s productive farmland.

River of Grass Acquisition
  • In 2008 U.S. Sugar entered into an agreement with the State of Florida to sell approximately 187,000 acres of land to the state for ecosystem restoration.

  • Over the course of the next two years the terms of the agreement were amended as property values and tax revenues declined.

  • October 12, 2010, U.S. Sugar and the South Florida Water Management District close on an initial River of Grass land acquisition providing nearly 27,000 acres of land in areas of critical need for improving water quality and ecosystem restoration.

  • The agreement contains options to purchase another 153,000 acres for up to 10 years should future economic conditions allow.