Department of Chemistry
At the close of the season last year, a number of sugar beets of the different varieties grown on the college farm were carefully selected and stored in the root cellar. From these beets it was proposed to raise pedigreed seed. Accordingly in the following May 11-14, these beets were subjected one by one to analysis. By means of a common three-fourths inch bit, a diagonal hole was bored from a point as low as possible on the root and extending upward towards the crown. The borings which were obtained were used in the analysis. The auger holes were plugged with moist clay as soon as the boring was completed. Since the purity coefficient for all the beets had previously been found satisfactory and especially so in the case of those beets showing a high per cent of sugar it was only necessary to determine the sugar content. This was accomplished by the method of Tollens-Rapp-Degener. Under the circumstances this method would give results rather lower than the actual sugar content, since it was found to be rather difficult so to regulate the pressure on the bit as to give equally and sufficiently thin sections or chips. But even under these circumstances which were somewhat unfavorable and which were rendered_ more so by the long time the beets had been stored before they were analyzed, it was determined to save no beet for planting that should not show 15 percent and over of sugar in the beet. It is evident from the manner of conducting the experiment that beets of good keeping quality and at the same time rich in sugar were secured. None of the samples analyzed had wilted.
South Dakota Agricultural College and Experiment Station
Shepard, J.H., "The Sugar Beet of South Dakota" (1891). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 27.