8 December 2000

Theres no heat on beet factories yet

WEATHER-HIT supplies of sugar beet to factories has not hit processing yet, but with 42% of the crop still left to lift, compared with 30% in a more normal season, concerns are growing.

"What is concerning is that in many cases growers have lifted the lightest fields first because it was the only way they could travel," says British Sugar operations manager, Robin Limb. Much of what is left is on heavy, waterlogged land. Only 9% is clamped, equivalent to 10-14 days supply to the factories. "We would expect double that."

Yields are on the five-year average at 50t/ha (20t/acre) and 17.2% sugar content gives a corrected yield of about 55t/ha. Dirt tares average 7.3% compared with 4.9% last year.

BS has no plans to slow the campaign for land to dry. "It is in everyones interests to run factories as fast as we can," says Mr Limb. &#42


&#8226 42% left to lift.

&#8226 Only 9% clamped.

&#8226 Normally 70% cleared by now.