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Location Allocation of Sugar Beet Piling Centers Using GIS and Optimization

Transportation Modeling Coordinator, 2 West Second Street, Suite 800, Tulsa, OK 74103, USA
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, North Dakota State University, Department 2485, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper won the Best Student Paper award at the 2019 AASHTO GIS-T Symposium in Kissimmee, FL, USA. It has been modified for publishing in the journal.
Infrastructures 2019, 4(2), 17;
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
PDF [4699 KB, uploaded 8 May 2019]


The sugar beet is one of the most important crops for both social and economic reasons, even though the area under sugar beet cultivation in the Red River valley of North Dakota and Minnesota is comparatively smaller that of corn and other crop lands. It generates a large economic activity in local and regional level with a greater impact on jobs and stimulation of agriculture, transportation, and farm economy. Sugar beet transportation takes place in two stages in Red River Valley: the first step is from farms to piling centers (pilers) and the second step from pilers to processing facilities. This study focuses on the problem of optimizing piler locations based on supply variation. Sugar beet supply and harvest varies significantly due to numerous reasons such as weather, water availability, and different maturity dates for the crop. This provides for a variable optimal harvesting time based on the plant maturity and sugar content. Sub-optimized pilers location result in the high transportation and utilization costs. The objective of this study is to minimize the sum of transportation costs to and from pilers and the pilers utilization cost. A two-step algorithm based on the geographical information system (GIS) with global optimization method is used to solve this problem. This method will also be useful for infrastructure decision makers such as planners and engineers to predict the truck volume on rural roads. View Full-Text
Keywords: optimization; GIS; location; sugar beet; infrastructure decision making optimization; GIS; location; sugar beet; infrastructure decision making

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Dharmadhikari, N.; Farahmand, K. Location Allocation of Sugar Beet Piling Centers Using GIS and Optimization. Infrastructures 2019, 4, 17.

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