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Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris).—Grant Heilman
Variety of beet (Beta vulgaris) that accounts for about two-fifths of global sugar production, making it second only to sugarcane as a source of the world's sugar. Unlike sugarcane, sugar beets can be grown in temperate or cold climates in Europe, North America, and Asia; that is, within the densely populated, well-developed areas where much of the product is consumed. The sugar beet was grown as a garden vegetable and for fodder long before it was valued for its sugar content.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sugar beet, visit Britannica.com.