University of California Sugar Beets
University of California Sugar Beets
University of California Sugar Beets
University of California
University of California Sugar Beets

Welcome to UC Sugar Beets Research & Information

sugar beets in soil
Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris, L) is a biennial plant. In the first year, it produces an enlarged root and hypocotyl, in which it stores sucrose that provides energy used to flower in the next season. About 35% of global sugar production and 50-55% of the domestic (U.S.) sugar production comes from sugar beet, equating to about 8.4 million metric tons (4). Some sugar beet currently is used for fuel ethanol production. Technically, conversion of sugar to ethanol is a simple process requiring only yeast fermentation, whereas producing ethanol from maize . . . more

Origin and History of Sugar Beets

Sugar beet photo
Sugar beet (B. vulgaris spp. vulgaris, L.), a genus of the family Amaranthaceae (formerly Chenopodiaceae), is one of the diverse and useful group of cultivars from the same species that includes Swiss chard, fodder beet, and red beet. The first modern sugar beets originated as selections made in the middle of the eighteenth century from fodder beets grown in then German Silesia, but food and medicinal uses of the genus are much older. A precursor is known to have been used as food as early as dynastic times in . . . more

Sugar Beets in California

Beet production in California
Since 1870, 11 sugar factories have been built throughout California. However, the last sugar beet factory in northern California closed in 2008, ending more than 140 years of beet production in the region and leaving only one operating in the state (in the Imperial Valley). 

Several factors make possible the use of beets for biofuels in California: (1) The state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)1, which is feedstock neutral and rewards efficient feed stock production financially, (2) increasing and large root and sugar yields . . . . more

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