10 November 1995


Reducing harvest losses and minimising storage time, together with a late start to the campaign and good growing conditions have increased sugar beet volumes by 250,000t, estimates British Sugar.

Octobers mean air temperature of 13.6C (56.5F) was well above the 30-year mean, and there were 40 more sunshine hours as well, says BSs John Mellor. "These figures confirm what potential there is to improve sugar beet productivity."

Soils are drying again, which may have helped push harvester losses up, he adds. BSs Quality Harvesting Programme found these averaged 2.8t/ha (1.1t/acre) last week. Advice to minimise loss includes fitting finger gates with plates to smooth beet flow. Adding more fingers allows turbine speed to be cut and reduces small beet loss.

With temperatures now falling, growers should plan to lift into well managed stores, says (see page 57).