Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/163

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SUGAR AND THE SUGAR BEET.

SUGAR AND THE SUGAR BEET.
By JOHN WADDELL, D.Sc, Ph.D.

SCHOOL OF MINING, KINGSTON, ONTARIO.

THE total production of sugar in the world is between seven and eight million tons yearly; in 1898-99 it was 7,839,000 tons. Of this amount about three eighths is obtained from sugar cane and five eighths from beets.

The United States in 1898 consumed 2,017,444 tons of sugar, each ton being 2,240 pounds. This was an average of sixty-one pounds for every man, woman and child in the country. In 1897 the consumption was nearly sixty-four pounds per head, and this figure is approximately the average for the last ten years, the average for the preceding decade being ten or twelve pounds less.

The United States consumes much more sugar per head than is consumed in Europe. In 1895, when the consumption in the United States was 62.60 pounds per capita, the consumption in Europe was 25.64 pounds per capita. The consumption in nearly all the countries of Europe is very low, and the average would be very much lower if England were left out of account. In England it is far in advance even of that of the United States, being 86.09 pounds in 1894-95, when Denmark, which in Europe stands next to England, consumed 44.66 pounds, that is, only slightly more than half as much. The great consumption in England is largely due to the amount of jams and confectionery manufactured, much of which is exported. Germany exports large quantities of sugar to England and imports confectionery. This is due to the special bounty arrangements in Germany. The government does not bonus the production of sugar, but taxes it. It however gives a rebate on the sugar exported, in such a way as to constitute a bounty. An excise duty is placed upon beets used in the manufacture of sugar. On any sugar exported a drawback is allowed. The law passed in 1869 assumed that beets contain eight per cent, of sugar, so that the manufacturer would get as much drawback from the government if he exported eight tons of sugar as he had paid on one hundred tons of beets. But owing, on the one hand, to improved cultivation of the beet, and, on the other hand, to improved methods of extraction, instead of twelve and one half tons of beets being necessary for the production of one ton of sugar, less than eleven tons were required in 1877, and in 1898 only seven tons. Now, therefore, the German manu-