IN THE final look back at 2005, we highlight what the Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writers had to say about the reform of the Sugar Regime.

“Because of the big changes in sugar markets in Europe, two of the five sugar beet factories closed down in January permanently. That means a longer processing season.” Visser (Feb 4)

“It is difficult to say if the outcome will be affected, but we did accept the offer of a ten-minute meeting with Commissioner Fischer Boel to press home the important issues.” Mark Ireland (Jul 29)

“My elation at recording a record beet yield of 70t/ha was quickly squashed by British Sugar’s Karl Carter proposing in my opinion a calculated diversion tactic that we should all be growing an average yield of 70t/ha.” Mark Ireland (18 Nov)

“The key issue for me initially will be the compensation figure. Assuming it goes directly to the grower in 2006/07 and 2007/08 …and is hopefully coupled with British Sugar and the NFU getting together to give beet growers a larger slice of the cake, it should ensure we will be able to grow profitably for a couple more years.” Chris Harrold (2 Dec)

“One thing for sure is the EU sugar reform is going to cost us income.” Hendrik Visser (9 Dec)

Check out www.fwi.co.uk tomorrow (30 December) to read the Farmer Focus writers’ New Year resolutions and what they think will be the biggest influences on profits during 2006.