The Sugar Industry Biotech Council provides science-based information regarding biotechnology and other technological advances in sugar beet and sugar cane crops. This image shows sugar beets that grow under ground.


Innovations in Sugar Beets – Key Benefits

Sugar – whether from sugar beets or sugar cane, or from sugar crops grown using conventional, biotech or organic methods – is the same pure and natural sugar that consumers always have enjoyed.

The sugar is the same no matter its original plant source. It has the same nutritional value, composition and wholesomeness. The pulp and molasses used in feed are nutritionally equivalent.

Benefits of biotechnology-enhanced sugar beets include:

  • Protecting the Sugar Supply
    In North America, hurricanes, droughts, floods, frosts and more can cause sugar supply challenges. Because sugar is an important ingredient in the North American food supply, it is vital to have a sustainable and geographically diverse supply of sugar and sugar by-products to support the North American food industry for consumers. Biotechnology-enhanced sugar beets are an important tool that can be used by growers to maintain the availability of the domestic sugar supply for North American consumers.
  • Lessening Impacts on the Environment
    The Roundup Ready® system in sugar beets requires fewer herbicide applications. Fewer trips across the field mean reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced soil erosion, reduced soil compaction and enhanced water conservation.

    • Reduced Trips Across the Field
      The Roundup Ready system in sugar beets can reduce the number of tractor trips across the field, saving fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and allowing growers to enhance soil and water conservation in their sugarbeet programs.
    • Flexible Weed Control
      Roundup Ready sugarbeets and labeled Roundup agricultural herbicides offer the potential for a simple, flexible weed-control program for sugar beet growers.
    • Improved Weed Control
      Glyphosate tolerance, the technology found in Roundup Ready crop products, addresses one of growers’ biggest and costliest problems – weed control. Roundup agricultural herbicides provide excellent control of a wide range of both broadleaf and grass weeds.
    • Unsurpassed Crop Safety
      Academic trials at eight land grant universities demonstrated outstanding crop safety for the Roundup Ready sugarbeet system compared to a conventional herbicide program. Roundup agricultural herbicides provided excellent weed control without harming the sugar beet plants.

Environmental Assessment of Roundup Ready Sugar beet: A Case Study of Four Idaho Sugar Beet Fields, 2006 (181K PDF)
Authors: Ronda E. Hirnyck and Don Morishita, University of Idaho

  • Helping Farmers
    The technology found in Roundup Ready products addresses one of growers’ biggest and costliest problems – weed control. Roundup agricultural herbicides provide excellent control of a wide range of weeds, which reduces weed competition and improves productivity.Using the Roundup Ready system lessens impacts on the environment. Environmental stewardship always has been important to sugar beet growers, who have used all tools available to them in the past. Roundup Ready sugar beets are another grower tool that provides even more environmental benefits.
Roundup® and Roundup Ready® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC.

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