A heap of harvested sugar beet

A heap of harvested sugar beet

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A heap of harvested sugar beet roots in a field in Norfolk, UK, in February 2012. Sugar beet is a valuable component of crop rotation systems in arable farming; about half the sugar consumed in the UK is produced from this crop. Harvest takes place during early winter when the sugar content of the roots is at its highest, typically around 17% by weight. The processing factories determine when the crop shall be delivered, so that the farmer may have to store the harvested crop on his own land for a short while. This involves the risk of frost damage to the crop before it is delivered for processing. One week after this picture was taken, the heap was covered by snow and night temperatures fell to -10 degrees C. The crop was transported to the processing factory after only two nights of frost, and was undamaged.

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Keywords: agriculture, biological, biology, botanical, botany, farming, frost damage, sugar, sugar beet, sugar beet processing, sugar content

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