18 January 2002

Beet lift period

gets extension

SUGAR beet growers aiming to put the land into set-aside now have until Feb 28 to complete harvest.

The NFU and British Sugar requested the derogation from the normal Jan 15 deadline.

Planting last spring was delayed by over three weeks because of wet weather, they argued, making it the latest average planting date in 20 years. Wet weather in October, processing delays and hard frosts have made matters worse, leaving more than 1000 growers with an estimated 1m tonnes of sugar beet still in the ground. &#42

Growers should notify their DEFRA regional service centres as soon as possible with details of any fields affected.