Sugar Beet Crop Emergence Advice
We are aware that some growers have raised concerns about the emergence of their current sugar beet crop in some fields and we are working with the BBRO and growers to understand more about the situation. There are many factors which may be contributing to this and at present it is unclear what is causing these effects.
Clearly, environmental factors have contributed to many of the issues which are being seen on farm. However, it is important to document other factors such as herbicide applications, cultivation practices and seed details for the fields in question, in order to enable an objective assessment of the likely causes. We recommend also that photos of field effects and individual plants including roots are also taken.
Where plant populations are considered to be less than acceptable, it is important that any decision to re-drill should not be taken without consulting your British Sugar area manager. It is rarely, if ever, economically justified to re-drill crops which have more than 40,000 viable plants per hectare (40 plants/ 20m of 50cm row) at this stage of the season (see latest BBRO bulletin 2nd May 2013). The BBRO will provide further advice to growers as information becomes available following continued evidence gathering which is being carried out.
Crops which have reduced populations but are deemed economically viable should be managed with careful consideration of all external factors, e.g. herbicide application and prevailing weather conditions. Crops which have been affected by frost, wind-blow or grazing will require particular care in management.
For further advice on any aspect of your sugar beet crop please contact your Area Manager or the Agriculture Helpdesk on 0870 2402314.
British Sugar, Agriculture Director
Chairman, NFU Sugar Board