British Sugar and the NFU have agreed a £31.67/t contract price for the 2014 sugar beet crop.

This is £1/t more than was originally offered in June.

The agreed package also includes further enhancement to the late delivery allowance to help address risks for the second half of the campaign.

A daily increase to the base price from 26 December will mean growers delivering on 28 February will receive £35 for each adjusted tonne.

“Over the past two years the NFU has highlighted problems with the current price model, which has not been flexible enough to cope with changes in commodity markets,” said NFU sugar board chairman William Martin.

“It also does not recognise the need for a higher margin relative to other crops, due to the increased risks arising from long and difficult campaigns, and the consequent effects on other crops in the rotation.”

Detailed discussions with British Sugar had resulted in acknowledgement of farmers’ concerns, and the package recognised the difficult growing seasons experienced in recent years and longer campaigns, he added.

“We have also agreed to set up joint working groups to explore ways of ensuring that the beet contract meets the needs of the industry in future,” said Mr Martin.

“We hope that with the price now agreed, growers will be able to complete cropping plans for the 2014 harvest.”

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