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Sunshine boost will help beet crops build sugar content

Recent rain has left sugar beet crops generally looking good, with well-developed canopies and softer soils expected to make harvesting more easy.



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This year’s sugar beet campaign is just starting, so this could be good news for growers, according to industry experts.

 

British Sugar’s factories at Bury St Edmunds, Wissington and Newark are already open, with Cantley due to start processing beet on October 2.

 

The first crops going in to the Bury St Edmund’s factory have been a little low on sugar content, which is weather-related, says NFU Sugar Board chairman and Cambridgeshire Fens grower William Martin.

 

He says: “We have had a couple of days of sunshine, which is encouraging, but we need two or three weeks of it so the crops can build sugar content."

 

British Sugar agriculture director Colm McKay says the first deliveries averaged around 17 per cent sugar, which he describes as ‘reasonably good’ and he expects the recent sunny weather to increase sugar content.

 

Mr McKay says: “We have plenty of growers who want to make a start and we are expecting sufficient deliveries.”

 

He reminds growers the season will be shorter this year, finishing around the end of January, and they will need to keep this in mind when scheduling harvesting.


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