Has anybody tried cultivating sugar beets in Alaska? Know anything about them?
We grow various beets each year, though not specifically sugar beets. We sometimes use the greens in our salads, as well as eating the produce fresh or canned. Harvard beets, pickled beets, fresh steamed beets, etc. Reasonably high carbohydrate source, but good for the diet in many ways.
The areas I'm personally familiar with that grow massive amounts of sugar beets on a commercial basis include North Dakota, parts of Western and Northwestern Minnesota, etc. In North Dakota there are places where it occasionally dips to -30 or -40 f. in the winter, while also having a relatively hot, arid summers. Their growing season is lnotably onger than ours, however.
Based on the performance of our cylindra and other beets we grow, I'd wager fairly heavily that sugar beets would fare well also. And if they're like many root crops, the slightly cooler soil may assist in increasing the natural sugar(s) in them, as it does with carrots and perhaps spuds as well.
Like many root crops, they prefer fairly stout nutrient levels, but I can't say they don't do well with less, too.
Sugar beets do grow in alaska, in south central. Atleast these are the only ones I know of growing here. I know of a test of them here in south central, i believe there are a acre or so being trialed. Do you plan on growing them for yourself or are you asking are they commercially viable.? Their sugar content should be greater here than in the states, not do to soil temps though.