BBRO Update - Beet Emergence and Establishment

Sugar beet emergence and establishment remains erratic in some fields, and is causing some concerns across the Industry.  

The BBRO has received a number of samples and photographs from all factory areas via agronomists, growers and British Sugar Area Managers and have spoken directly with many growers with affected fields. This is a complex issue that appears to involve many interacting factors related to the seed, soil, time of drilling and prevailing weather at the time of sowing and information is still being gathered directly from farm and laboratory tests are also being carried out.

However from these latest reports and the investigations carried out so far it is becoming apparent that there is a low and erratic or poorer emergence with some crops.  

Affected crops appears to be in the range of 40-65,000 plants per hectare, however lower figures have been recorded.

In addition to emergence, vigour has been an issue and on closer inspection stems and cotyledons appear to be distorted and twisted and there is little root system, and often the start of the proliferation of fibrous roots without the presence of the main tap root.

The BBRO recommend that growers assess the emergence of their crops through assessment of total plant population and also carefully dig up plants to look at the root system and stem in detail.

If you believe you have an issue please consult your agronomist and inspect your crop. 

Ensure you take appropriate records and photographs, both at field level and importantly of individual plants to allow assessment of below ground effects.

If plant stands are below 40,000 plants per hectare, or your agronomist verifies that there is no root system, then we would recommend that you re-drill as soon as possible.

Last edited on: 03:05:2013

Share this story:

NFU members: Have your say

Want to share your views? You must be logged in to comment – please login here. Not a member? Join us here.

Back to NFU Sugar home page


NFU Sugar Helpline:
0370 066 1974

Follow us @NFUSugar

Find your nearest board member


UK sugar beet growers' frost insurance policy details for the 2018/19 campaign.

News and information about beet reception, includes reports and grading information, whole beet sampling and more.

Sugar and sugar beet markets at your fingertips, including sugar market updates, the beet price bonus tracker and the monthly 'Flashmarket' from WABCG.

Links to information for growers and organisations which play a key part in the British and global sugar industry.

Important information - factory details, glossary of terms, board roles and responsibilities and key dates.

nfu sugar board

Find out who's who on the NFU Sugar Board - read their biographies here.

NFU Representatives

sugar factories Bury St. Edmunds Wissington Cantley Newark

Click on the map to find further details of your beet intake teams at each British Sugar factory.

© 2019 - NFU Online