Date of this Version
Plant Disease / Vol. 91 No. 7
The United States ranks among the top four sugar producers worldwide, and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) plays a major role in the sweetener industry. Sugar beet was planted on approximately 553,100 ha (1.37 million acres) in 2006 (33). The greatest volume of production occurs in the Red River Valley (RRV) of Minnesota and North Dakota and in southern Minnesota. In 2005, this region planted 302,000 ha (746,000 acres) of sugar beet, which accounted for over half of the hectares sown (58%) and metric tons of roots produced (51%) in the United States (33); total economic impact of the crop exceeded $3 billion (4). Three regions, including nine additional states, comprise the remainder of the production areas (Fig. 1). They include the Far West (California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington), Great Plains (Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming), and Great Lakes (Michigan; Ohio stopped production in 2005), which produced 25, 13, and 12% of the total metric tons of roots harvested in 2005, respectively (33). Overall, the annual impact of producing and processing sugar beet in the United States contributes $4.5 billion to the economy and over 79,000 full-time equivalent jobs (30).