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Sugar and Fodder Beets for Stock and Sucrose PowerPoint Presentation
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Sugar and Fodder Beets for Stock and Sucrose

Sugar and Fodder Beets for Stock and Sucrose

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Sugar and Fodder Beets for Stock and Sucrose

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  1. Sugar and Fodder Beets for Stock and Sucrose

  2. Three Classes of Field Beets • Mangels (Mangolds, Mangel-Wurzel) • Fodder Beets • True Sugar Beets

  3. History of Field Beet Cropping • Development in 17th and 18th century • Resulted in the “Gin Craze” • Used as an alternate sugarmaking stock in France under Napoleon • Now a major source of sugar and ethanol stock worldwide

  4. Our Project Objectives: • Evaluate several non-GMO varieties for crop performance in an organic, diversified small farm setting • Develop a method of storing and processing beets, both for stock feed and value-added applications • Evaluate quality and marketability of final products and potential impacts on farm viability

  5. Objective #1: Cropping • 2010: Cropped 5 tons of mangels (red mammoth and yellow cylindrical) on ¼ acre. • 2011: Planted 1 acre beet trial plot. Heavy spring rains rotted 80% the seedbed. Plot abandoned. • 2012: Planted 1 acre beet trial plot on better-drained land. Heavy spring rains rotted 40% of the seedbed. Plot carried through to harvest

  6. Field Beet general growing practices • Seed early (April if possible) • Seek a well drained location, but beets grow in a range of soil types • Thin to one beet per 1-1.5 row feet • Harvest in November for the highest weight and sugar content • Field beet classes vary in their ease of harvest • On-farm winter storage of large quantities of beets is easily accomplished with a clamp

  7. Our Non-GMO trial varieties

  8. Storing and Feeding Field Beets • Use a “Clamp.” • Feed beets whole or chop • Process with a juicer and dry expelled pulp

  9. Nutritional Properties of Field Beets

  10. Our Attempted Sugar Making • Diffusion method - slicing and steeping • Centrifuge method –using a large vegetable juicer

  11. Sugarmaking, Part 2 • Boiling (similar to maple syrup) to crystalization temperature • Pan seeding • Cleaning and evaluation of crystals

  12. What We Learned • Field beets are a fairly easy grow if you have well-drained soil, but thinning and harvest are demanding • Non-GMO field beets had yields and nutritional parameters within standard national (GMO) ranges in an organic system • Non-GMO beet pulp is a possible value-added crop, if a drying system is available • Sugarmaking is challenging due to persistent off-flavors we were unable to eliminate • Distallation was also unsuccesful due to difficulty efficiently eliminating beet solids and the same persistent off-flavors that troubled our sugarmaking.

  13. Why I still think that there is money in beets after all beets have put me through • 1 acre of beets: approximately 40,000 lbs • Average sugar content of sugar beets: 16% • Lbs theoretical sugar per acre: 6400 • Cost of fancy crystal table sugar per lb: $3 • Potential value-added, per acre: $19200 • Cost of a fifth of microdistilled vodka: $25 • Potential fifths of vodka per acre: 3200 • Potential farm/microdistillery revenue per acre:$80,000 • Dry beet pulp per acre: 4,000 lbs • Cost of “Speedi Beet” per lb: $1 • Potential revenue from dry beet pulp per acre: $4000