Jay L. Haddock

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Full Issue

Publication Date



In 1605 Oliver de Serres, French agronomist, observed that beets contained sugar-and in 1750 Andrew Marggraf, a German physicist, obtained sugar crystals from beets. It was more than 100 years from Marggraf's discovery until the first successful beet sugar factory was developed in the United States at Alvarado, California, in 1870. Since that time beet sugar has become increasingly more important in our national economy. At present continental United States produces a third of her sugar requirements, 70 to 80 percent of which is from sugar beets. The importance of the sugar beet crop in national and world economy is justification for research effort as a means to more economical production of this crop.

The early experimental work on sugar beet production was designed to answer the most practical questions relative to soil and climatic requirements, suitable spacing, soil fertility conditions, and general irrigation demands. The conclusions from these early investigations gave intelligent direction and encouragement to farmers and generally stimulated sugar beet growing.



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