The Malheur Experiment Station runs a number of sugar beet trials for both scientific research and commercial companies. Trials include irrigation management, crop nutrition, beet quality, weed control, variety selection, seed emergence, and others.
Due to sugar beet's extensive root system, the Malheur Experiment Station has been investigating the use of sugar beets as a soil nitrate "sop up" crop since 1990, helping to reduce nitrogen fertilizer costs to the grower and reduce the risks of groundwater nitrate contamination. We are using sugar beets to recover residual nitrate left in the soil after shallow rooted crops.
Variety trials contain experimental lines to evaluate their adaptation, productivity and quality in this area. In addition, commercial varieties are tested to ensure they hold up well in the field. Sugar beets are also evaluated for resistance to mildew, resistance to curly top, beet yield, sucrose content, pulp nitrate, and pulp conductivity.
Examples of some of the common sugar beet varieties grown locally are Emblem, Owyhee, Dillon, Canyon, Oasis, PM9, Sierra, Mustang, PM21, and Cassia.