9 November 2001

Crops consistency attractive

SUGAR beet will be a new crop for HCE Agriculture next season in E Yorks.

Managing director, Richard Sellars, believes it will be more consistently rewarding than other breaks like spring beans, especially on the sandland that forms part of the 344ha (850 acres) he runs in several blocks around Sandholme, E Yorks.

"We obtained 1075t of quota through agents and by people approaching me directly. We did not pay the very lowest price, but neither did we pay silly money."

He is unsure whether he will receive any of British Sugars incentive payment (see box), but the 35-mile haulage distance to the York factory presents no problems. "The incentive certainly was not a factor in our decision. We have been waiting for the opportunity to grow beet for a long time."

Drilling and harvesting will be left to a contractor, and husbandry advice will come from BS and Masstock agronomist David Calverley, who already oversees beet crops in the region.

"Varieties and seed treatments are a bit of an unknown quantity for me," admits Mr Sellars. "Because of our rotation some of the first beet will be on silt, where we need a high-crowned variety to make it easier to lift. We have chosen Wildcat for the silt and Humber for the sand. We have also gone for Advantage treatment to help establishment on our heavier land." &#42

SUGAR beet will be a new crop for HCE Agriculture next season in E Yorks.

Managing director, Richard Sellars, believes it will be more consistently rewarding than other breaks like spring beans, especially on the sandland that forms part of the 344ha (850 acres) he runs in several blocks around Sandholme, E Yorks.

"We obtained 1075t of quota through agents and by people approaching me directly. We did not pay the very lowest price, but neither did we pay silly money."

He is unsure whether he will receive any of British Sugars incentive payment (see box), but the 35-mile haulage distance to the York factory presents no problems. "The incentive certainly was not a factor in our decision. We have been waiting for the opportunity to grow beet for a long time."

Drilling and harvesting will be left to a contractor, and husbandry advice will come from BS and Masstock agronomist David Calverley, who already oversees beet crops in the region.

"Varieties and seed treatments are a bit of an unknown quantity for me," admits Mr Sellars. "Because of our rotation some of the first beet will be on silt, where we need a high-crowned variety to make it easier to lift. We have chosen Wildcat for the silt and Humber for the sand. We have also gone for Advantage treatment to help establishment on our heavier land." &#42