Sugar beets are a biennial vegetable that can produce roots anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds when mature. The white-colored roots are very attractive to deer and contain from 13 to 22 percent sucrose. Sugar beets are highly digestible and provide a protein content of about 10 percent to deer. One acre of ground may produce as much as 15 tons of this delicious delicacy. Deer will also forage on the top of sugar beets. While deer may not immediately recognize the roots as preferred food, once they do, they will hammer them. Cool weather helps increase the sugar content of the roots and attractiveness to deer.
Sugar beets are a hardy crop that can adapt to a variety of soils. Sugar beets can handle heavier soils as long as they are in full sun and have good drainage. Sugar beets do not handle competition well and weeds should be brought under control before planting using tillage or a non-selective herbicide. Sugar beets are not super drought tolerant and need adequate rainfall to sustain a good crop. Before planting, adjust the soil to a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.
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