EARLY SIGNS point to good prospects for sugar beet this season, but there is still uncertainty over sugar contents.

Latest field samples show average sugar content has risen to 16.25%, according to British Sugar‘s Paul Bee.

“Considering on September 6, sugar contents were still below 16% they have risen quite nicely.”

Initial results from loads into Wissington factory, which opened last Wednesday (Sept 15), found crown tares of 9.9% and soil tares of 4.5%, he also noted.

“These levels are pretty normal for the time of year.

“It is still very early days, the story will start to build as we get into October.”

Meanwhile, lifting has gone well for Norfolk farm manager Andrew Lensen who has harvested almost half of his 130ha of sugar beet.

Ground conditions have been surprisingly dry, he noted, allowing successful drilling of the following wheat crop after only one pass with a subsoiler.

Yields appear to have gone well, he said, but his main concern is sugar content.

Returns are expected back from Wissington factory on Tuesday (Sept 21).