Plan beet harvesting carefully

PLANNING SUGAR beet lifting strategies carefully will be vital to maximising potential from the crop this harvest, according to British Sugar.

Growers, harvesting contractors and hauliers all need to work together in order to minimise losses, said BS’s Stephen Brown.

“Before lifting starts growers should talk to the harvesting contractor and haulier, unless it is done in-house, to plan a strategy to achieve maximum potential from the crop.”

British Sugar recommends growers adopt a “just-in-time” policy to harvesting until mid-November, with no more than three days supply out of the ground.

Crops on heavy or low-lying land, or where there is poor potential or disease, should be harvested first, Mr Brown noted.

When operating a “just-in-time” policy, harvested beet should be spread out across the pad to aid cooling and reduce the risk of heat-induced sugar loss, he said.

Beet harvesting, handling and business management will be the focus of the Beet UK event near Lincoln on October 19. More information can be found at

For a pre-harvest check list and the latest on bioethanol production from UK beet, see this week’s FARMERS WEEKLY magazine (August 19).


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