Following several posts by Clark Propst and others, Todd Sullivan wrote:
It also raises lots of questions about where cars came from and where the loads out were going. E.g., where did all that sugar in NP boxcars come from?and later
Thanks for several informative replies, the most informative of which is Chris Frissell's about Great Western in Billings. Now I have a shipper if I want to model sugar shipments. Thanks!!
Sugar beets and sugar production were a major business along the NP in eastern Montana into ND and also south of Billings at Hardin on the CB&Q: Great Western Sugar in Billings; Holly Sugar in Sidney and Hardin.
Details of beet growing and sugar production in the Yellowstone River Valley may be found in this 1970 thesis, which covers the era of this list:
An Economic Study of the Beet Sugar Industry in Montana - A Regional Analysis, By Willard Horace Godfrey, Jr. An Economic Study of the Beet Sugar Industry in Montana - A Regional Analysis, By Willard Horace Godfrey, Jr.
A shorter summary is available here:
An economic study of the beet sugar industry in Montana, Gail L. Cramer & Willard H. Jr. Godfrey, 1970, 259379, Montana State University, Agricultural Experiment Station.
They note that American Crystal Sugar Company discontinued doing business at Missoula, Montana, in 1966
Sidney Sugars, formerly Holly Sugar Corporation, Sidney, Montana (now part of American Crystal Sugar Company) notes:
1924: Railroad tracks at the factory site made a factory possible in Sidney. Irrigation water from the Yellowstone River was available to the farmers since 1909.