Hi, this is my blog.The purpose of this blog is to cover production of sugarbeet.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tropical sugarbeet
Tropical sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris spp. Vulgaris  var altissima Doll)   is a biennial sugar producing tuber crop, grown in temperate countries.  This crop constitutes 30% of total world production and distributed in 45 countries. Apart from sugar production, the value added products like ethanol can also be extracted from sugarbeet.  The ethanol can be blended with petrol or diesel to the extent of 10% and used as bio-fuel.  The sugarbeet waste material viz., beet top used as green fodder, beet pulp used as cattle feed and filter cake from industry used as organic manure.

Tropical sugarbeet is now cultivated as a commercial field crop because of some favourable characters like  (i) shorter duration of 5 to 6 months (ii) needs moderate water requirement of 60-80 cm. (iii) higher sugar content of 12 – 15% (iv) improve soil conditions because of tuber crop and (v) grow well in saline and alkali soil.

 History on sugar beet

Sugarbeet is derived from the Greek letter beta because the swollen, turnip-like root resembles a Greek B.  However, the oldest known beet type, chard, was domesticated by at least 2000 B.C, and was grown by both the Greeks and Romans.

       During the mid-1700’s, the German chemist Andreas Margraff discovered that both white and the red beetroot contained sucrose and his discovery helped us to develop the sugarbeet of today.

 Sugarbeet is a temperate crop. It is widely cultivated in America, Britain, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France ect .Now  hybrid varieties of sugar beet has been regarded as a commercial sugar crop of sub-tropical countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan ect.

Why we cultivate sugar beet

Because our main sugar crop like sugar cane is a high delta crop with long duration and requires higher irrigation(25-30 times).
  On the other hand, sugarbeet is a short duration crop and requires less irrigations(5-6 times).
   So now a days, country like Bangladesh, sugarbeet has been considered as a supplement to sugar cane for sugar production.

    • Cauvery
    •  Indus 
    • Shubhra 
    • Aimanta
    • Trinta
    • Saracen
    • Opta


  • Tropical sugarbeet require good sunshine during its growth period.  
  • The crop does not prefer high rainfall as high soil moisture or continuous heavy rain may affect development of tuber and sugar synthesis. 
  • The optimum temperature for germination is 20 – 25ºC, for growth and development 30 - 35ºC and for sugar accumulation in 25– 35ºC.


 Tropical sugarbeet is sown in September to November and harvested during March and May.

Field preparation

  • Well drained sandy loam and clay loam soils having medium depth(45 cm) with fairly good status are suitable.
  • Tropical sugarbeet require deep ploughing (45 cm) and followed by 2 – 3 ploughing to obtain a good soil tilth condition for favorable seed germination.  
  • Ridges and furrows are formed at 50 cm apart.

Manures and Fertilizers
Manures and Fertilizers
Basal Application
Top dressing
12.5 tonnes /ha

2 kg /acre (10 pockets)
2 kg /acre (10 pockets)


75kg /ha
75kg /ha
75kg /ha

37.5 kg / ha each at 25 & 50 DAS

Seed rate
      The recommended seed rate is 3.6kg / ha.

      The recommend sacing is 50 x 20 cm. 

Seed sowing
      The pellated  seed is dippled at 2 cm depth in the sides of ridges at 20 cm apart.

                                              Sowing seed in the field

                  Seedling emergence

                              Young seedling

 Intercultural operation
  •    Weeding 
A weed free field

          The crops should be maintained weed free situation upto 75 days. Pretilachlor 50  EC @ 0.5 Kg ai/ha or Pendimethalin @3.75lit /ha can be dissolved in 300 litres of water and sprayed with hand operated sprayer on 0- 2rd day after sowing, followed by hand weeding on 25th day and 50th day after sowing.

  •   Earthing up 
        The earthing up operations coincides with top dressing of N fertilizer.

  • Tropical  sugarbeet is very sensitive to water stagnation in soil at all stages of crop growth. 
  •  Irrigation should be based on soil type and climatic condition.  
  • Pre-sowing irrigation is essential since at the time of sowing, sufficient soil moisture is must for proper irrigation. 
  •  First irrigation is crucial for the early establishment of the crop.      
  •  For loose textured sandy loam soil irrigation once in 5 to 7 days and for heavy textured clay loam soil once in 8 – 10 days is recommended.
  • The irrigation has to be stopped at least 2 to 3 weeks before harvest.  
  • At the time of harvest if the soil is too dry and hard it is necessary to give pre harvest irrigation for easy harvest. 
  •  Light and frequent irrigation is recommended for maintaining optimum soil moisture

  • The tropical sugarbeet crop matured in about 5 to 6 months.  
  • The yellowing of lower leaf whirls of matured plant, Nitrogen deficiency and root brix reading of 15 to 18% indicate the maturity of sugarbeet root for harvest.

                                                     A mature sugar beet

Post harvest management
  • Stop irrigation 15-20 days prior to harvest. This allows sugar accumulation
  • Just hand pulling and keeping the tops, store in a shaded conditions
  • Roots of sugarbeet  reach the factory within 48 hours for processing

The average root yield  of tropical sugarbeet is 80 – 100 tonnes / ha.

How can I improve yield of sugarbeet
  • Right seed.
  • Right technology.
  • Right nutrition.
  • Right pest and diseases management. 
  • Integrated pest and disease management.
  • Water management.

So we can say that sugarbeet may be miracle for us if we can cultivate it properly with proper technology because it contains sugar higher than sugarcane and requires less time.There are around 6000 hectares of sugarcane farming land in the country and if the lands are brought under sugar beet farming then around 4.8 lakh metric tons of sugar beet could be harvested annually. To meet increasing needs of sugar, all aspects of how to produce this crop efficiently has been widely researched, and work continues rapidly in all countries where they are grown."Bangladesh has immense potentiality for sugar beet cultivation which can take the production of sugar to a satisfactory level,"( said  Dr Khalil ).

A project also done in BSMRAU

To know the production status of sugarbeet in Bangladesh this project was carried out.
    The vegetative growth of sugarbeet was satisfactory but insect infestation was very high.

                                                                                Project field

                                                                 Young plant                                     
                                                                     Vegetative stage

                                                                          Mature plant

                                                                       Fully mature plant

                                                                      Harvested sugarbeet

Importance of sugarbeet aspect of Bangladesh


  •   The tuber of sugarbeet contains a high concentration of sucrose and it can be grown commercially for sugar production.               

  •   Still here in Bangladesh main sugar producing crop is sugarcane but sugarbeet contains 30% more sugar than sugarcane.

  •   In addition to sugar production,sugar beet is also used for syrup, spirit and bio-fuel production as well as livestock feed.                     

  •  Sugar beet takes 5-6 months for getting maturity while sugarcane requires 12-14 months.

  • On the other hand sugar recovery rate from the sugar beet is 10-12 percent while the rate from sugarcane is 8-10 per cent.

  • Being a short cycle crop helps us to use land twice a year.