Cultivating a Field of Beets in Colorado

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
We get most of our sugar from two sources-sugar cane and sugar beets. In 1916, the total production of sugar in the world was 16,508,222 tons. Of this amount, 10,524,772 tons were made from sugar cane, and 5,983,450 tons from sugar beets. Germany easily leads all other countries in the production of beet sugar. In 1914-15 Germany produced 2,500,000 long tons (2,240 pounds each), Russia, 2,000,000, and Austria, over 1,500,000 tons. The United States ranked fourth, with 646,257 long tons. Colorado is our leading state in the production of beet sugar. California, Michigan, Utah, and Idaho follow Colorado in this order. The seeds of the beet are sowed in rows from 1½ to 2 feet apart. After the plants have come up they are thinned to a distance of 6 inches apart in the row. In many places the young plants are set out by hand. The careful, early cultivation of the crop requires a great deal of hand labor. For this reason the sugar beet industry thrives in thickly populated districts where help is plentiful and cheap. In the United States the crop is cultivated in a manner similar to that of corn. Before frost comes, the beets are pulled, and their tops cut off. Sometimes they are taken directly to the sugar beet factory. More often the beets are stacked in great piles and banked with earth so they will not dry out. They are later taken to factories where they are sliced, and the juice extracted and made into sugar crystals. The tops are used for cattle feed, and the beet from which the juice has been taken is fed to cattle or used for fertilizer. What other plants contain sugar? Keystone ID: 20213 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.