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2.09 GROWING SEASON WATER STRESS
In a study by Gaskill (1950), it was found that sugar beet roots harvested after growing under moderate drought stress had higher incidences of rot post-storage. After a very long post-harvest storage period of 139 days at approximately 7 °C, the percentage of rots in the drought stressed roots (28.8 %) was double that of roots from sugar beet irrigated until harvest (14.4 %). A follow-up experiment the next year with a shorter two months of post-harvest storage at 18 °C found 9.54 % and 7.85 % losses for the drought stressed and irrigated roots respectively. Kenter and Hoffmann (2008) similarly found increased rates of quality loss from drought stressed roots during post-harvest storage. Higher rates of increase in the concentration of amino N, betaine, total soluble N and invert sugar were observed in the drought stressed roots.