Impact of Humic Acid on Yield and Quality of Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris L.) Grown on Calcareous Soil
A field experiment was performed to determine the effects of using humic acid with irrigation on quantitative and qualitative yield traits of sugar beet grown on calcareous soils in Esfaraen, located in the North-East of Iran. Treatments consisted of three levels of humic acid concentration (zero or control, 2.5 and 5 L ha-1) and the number of applications (once 45 days after planting; twice, 45 and 75 days after planting; three times, respectively 45, 75 and 105 days after planting). The effect of the two experimental factors on sugar beet yield traits such as the content of sucrose, refined sugar, molasses forming substances, root yield and refined sugar yield were evaluated. The results proved the existence of a significant interaction between humic acid concentration and the number of applications on all parameters under study. The application of humic acid caused a significant increase of sucrose, refined sugar, root yield and refined sugar yield and a reduction in molasses forming substances content, compared to the control. The increased amount of sucrose and refined sugar content in all applications in concentration of 2.5 L ha-1 humic acid was more than with 5 L ha-1. Similarly, the content of molasses forming substances showed more reduction in 2.5 L ha-1 than in 5 L ha-1 treatment. However, the results revealed that the highest root yield and refined sugar yield, as the main qualitative and quantitative parameters of sugar beet yield, were achieved by three times application of 5 L ha-1 that had 24 and 37% increase compared to control.
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