IDEAL HARVESTING conditions are allowing good progress for this season‘s beet campaign, according to latest industry reports.

All six factories are now firmly up and running and Wissington has broken the record daily slice for the second time already this season, processing 18,043 tonnes on Sept 28, according to British Sugar.

“We are really quite satisfied with the way things are progressing,” said Robin Limb, Agricultural Business Manager for the Bury and Cantley factories.

Wissington is currently running at around 17,000 tonnes per day, he noted.

“Harvesting conditions are almost ideal, soils dried out more than people realised. Beet are coming out of the ground perfectly clean and harvesters are working efficiently.”

Sugar contents are continuing to rise and now average over 17% across all factories, he said. He expects contents to continue rising up to the national average of around 17.3-17.4%.

But yields have proved more variable, due mainly to disparity in drilling dates, said Mr Limb.

In Essex most areas were able to drill as early as ever, but further north growers supplying the Cantley factory experienced some delays this spring, which has affected yields, he explained.

He urges growers not to leave a disproportionate amount of crop in the ground going into the main frost period over Christmas, as there is little extra yield or quality for the crop to gain and a greater risk of losses.