Muscatine Island Farm

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The sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) demonstration was conducted in response to the planned construction of an ethanol plant in Muscatine. Instead of corn, the facility will use sugarbased feedstocks such as molasses and, hopefully, locally grown crops like sugar beets. However, sugar beets are not currently grown in southeast Iowa and reliable production information is not available to make informed decisions on the merits of using this crop. Therefore, this project was conducted to determine if sugar beets could be grown in southeast Iowa, what production problems might be encountered, and establish potential yield levels. To achieve these goals half-acre trial plots were established at the Muscatine Island Research Farm, Fruitland, and at the Southeast Research Farm, Crawfordsville. Although less than 45 miles apart, the sites provided two contrasting growing environments available in southeast Iowa because of different soil types and the use of irrigation at Fruitland. The plantings were monitored through the growing season with yield and quality determinations made in the fall.

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Iowa State University



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