University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
Year in Cooperation: A Cooperative Development Magazine
Published by the Minnesota Association of Cooperatives
Spring 1996 -- Vol. 2 No. 2

Diurnal Effect

One of the very positive aspects of our climate on root crops grown in this region is what scientists call the diurnal effect. Diurnal effect refers to variation between day and night time temperatures and its effect on the plant's root development. The positive effect in the northern growing region is that the significant variation in day and night time temperature during the growing season causes a sweeter, firmer, more solid root when harvested at maturity.

Sugar beet processors, for example, have found over the past 20 years that sugar beets grown in the northern Red River Valley and processed at the Drayton plant, consistently produce one to two percent higher sugar than beets processed in south central Minnesota at Renville.

Does the diurnal effect allow us to produce superior root vegetables like carrots, onions, rutabaga, red beets, parsnip, etc.? We think so. Further research needs to be done to prove it. Is this a quality feature we can market over California grown vegetables? Are carrots grown here naturally sweeter and crisper?

This material has been reproduced in electronic format with the permission of Year in Cooperation.

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