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Utah was one of the first states to begin sugar-beet growing. The industry grew rapidly, favored by the climate, by the naturally productive soils, by the freedom from pests, and by the system of intensive irrigation agriculture. California and Utah were among the leading beet-producing states at the time of the World War, and under the stimulus of high prices they remained so until the great depression of 1920. After that, the frequent occurrence of curly-top and the rapid spread of nematode, together with the low price resulting from increased cane sugar production in the tropics and from other causes combined to cause a decline in the importance of sugar-beets.