29 September 2000

Beet campaign starts

AFTER delays due to lack of fuel for haulage to factories, this years sugar beet campaign got under way on Monday with deliveries into Ipswich factory.

While it is too early to report field yields, test digs indicate that above-average sugar content should keep corrected yields above the five-year average, says agricultural manager Paul Bee.

Bardney, Bury St Edmunds, Cantley, Newark and Wissington were all due to open on Wednesday, and Allscott and York open next Monday. Kidderminster opens on Oct 5.

C-beet prices should be about double last years levels, but because of currency changes, the interim beet price for A and B quota is lower, at £27.01/t, he says.

That leaves a 3% retention level, so growers should achieve about £28/t in total. However, BS cannot rule out the possibility of having to recoup money from growers if sterling strengthens substantially.