15 September 1995

By-product benefit

SUGAR BEET by-products are helping Dutch growers improve potato nutrition.

Supplied as a viscous liquid, the residue of beet processing contains 14-23% potash, plus a high organic matter content, 33% sulphate and other "useful" nutrients, explains Dick Willems, director of Soepenberg Fertilisers in Dronten.

Particularly useful

"The sulphate is particularly useful, because we are now seeing deficiency in potatoes," he says.

The liquid is applied by Terragator for a similar price to straight mineral potash. Each year 6000ha (15,000 acres) is treated in the Netherlands and Germany.