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J Exp Bot. 2009;60(7):1919-25. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp110. Epub 2009 Apr 6.

Capture and use of solar radiation, water, and nitrogen by sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.).

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Rothamsted Research, Broom's Barn Research Centre, Higham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6NP, UK.


Sugar beet is spring-sown for sugar production in most sugar beet-growing countries. It is grown as a vegetative crop and it accumulates yield (sugar) from very early in its growth cycle. As long as the sugar beet plants do not flower, the sugar accumulation period is indefinite and yield continues to increase. This paper reviews the success of the sugar beet crop in capturing and using solar radiation, water and mineral nitrogen resources. The prospects for improved resource capture and therefore increased sugar yield are also considered, particularly the potential to increase solar radiation interception in the future by sowing the crop in the autumn.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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