14 September 2001

Factories opening late

SUGAR beet factories will open about a week later than last year, so crops can compensate for late planting, says British Sugar.

Test digs show root weights are close to last year, but sugar content is lower. However, the 170,000ha crop is on course to hit national quota plus a little C beet, says British Sugars Paul Bee.

Widespread use of fungicides, mostly Punch C (carbendazim + flusilazole), should see yield build late into autumn, he says. "What we need now is some sunshine."

Worst crops should be lifted first, because better ones have the greatest potential to bulk, he adds. &#42

Factory opening dates

Wissington Sep 25

Newark and Cantley Oct 1

Bury St Edmunds & York Oct 2

Kidderminster Oct 4

Alscott Oct 9