DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Part of 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. The picture shows part of an unprotected heap of harvested roots on a day when the temperature did not rise about freezing. This condition lasted for three days before the crop was delivered, undamaged, to the processing factory.
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