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Early in the history of Utah the pioneers became interested in sugar-beet production. In 1852 John Taylor, Elias Morris and others, under the direction of Brigham Young, obtained machinery from France for refining beet sugar, transported it across the Atlantic Ocean by boat, up the Mississippi River to Fort Leavenworth, and thence across the plains to Utah by ox teams. The factory was established in what is now known as Sugar House in the southeastern part of Salt Lake City. These initial efforts proved to be unsuccessful primarily because the "open kettle" method employed was never satisfactory.

Not until 1891 was sugar refining successful in the state, at which time a factory was erected at Lehi. Following this period a small expansion took place. Starting around 1910 and for about a decade thereafter, the industry expanded rapidly, reaching a peak in 1920 when 113,000 acres were harvested (fig. 1). At the peak, the acreage of sugar beets harvested was about 10 percent of all harvested cropland. Since 1920 the relative importance of this crop in Utah's agriculture has been decreasing.



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