Department of Chemistry
At the close of the work for 1897 it became evident that no further progress could be made in determining the saccharine strength of beets grown in this state. The results were all that could be desired in every way. It was suggested, however, by factory builders and intending investors that the securing of commercial data was necessary. It was suggested that our 'next need was to ascertain the cost per acre of producing the beets, and also to determine the tonnage from large plats where the beets were all harvested and weighed, in order that commercial conditions might be obtained. At the same time Dr. H. W. Wiley, Chief Chemist, United States Department of Agriculture, suggested the same line of work for this Station to follow. Also, since the sugar beet investigation for the United States had been placed in his charge he offered to furnish us with the necessary seed and to give any other assistance in his power. Urged by these considerations, this Station again resumed the experiments with sugar beets. It was deemed best to confine the work to a few localities rather than to send the seed promiscuously over the State. Preferably those localities were selected which had been making efforts towards securing sugar factories. In pursuance of this policy five points were selected, viz, Aberdeen, Huron, Yankton, Sioux Falls, and Brookings. Committees were selected in each locality and advised to organize and to make united efforts to obtain the commercial data required. In each place the committee elected a president and secretary, and entered upon the work with hearty good will. The seed furnished to this Station by the Department of Agriculture, through the kindness of Dr. Wiley, was distributed to these different committees. Instructions for preparing the ground, sowing, cultivating, and thinning were furnished to the committees. It was the intention of the writer to visit these different stations during the season. He was able to inspect the plants grown at th1ee of them. The committees were urged to obtain photographs and to make their data as full and explicit as possible, since it was the expectation to discontinue this work at the close of the present season. Photographs of some of the plants grown have been secured and will appear in their appropriate places in this Bulletin.
sugar beets, South Dakota crops, 19th century agriculture
U. S. Experiment Station of South Dakota, South Dakota Agricultural College
Shepard, J.H. and Knox, W.H., "Sugar Beets in South Dakota" (1899). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 62.