This month we went on a well-deserved holiday to Tenerife. We had some nice weather, much better then here, with temperatures in the 20s, a little bit of wind and a lot of sun. The result, a little sunburn, but that is not so bad. We had fun and that is what matters.
During the holiday, we rented a car and drove around the island and saw a lot of banana plantations and fields (so we thought) with small grape vines. The vines looked like a lot of hard hand work and you don’t see much mechanisation for these fruit crops. There were a lot of people wandering around the fields and (in 23C every day) not doing very much. Now I can image why they have a “siesta” every day. Even the supermarkets in the less touristy places close from 1500 till 1700 to reopen again until 2000.
Now we are back home in the Netherlands and the weather is poor, rainy, grey and chilly. Spring still seems to be along way off. However, I hope to be to be drilling sugar beet in a month’s time – or maybe a week longer.
In January I wrote about the sugar yields of for the current campaign. Now Suikerunie has announced the farmer price for the sugar beet, almost €70/t (£60/t) at 17.3% sugar (average sugar for this campaign). It is a historic high price. In Holland we have 70,000ha of sugar beet and if you multiply this across the national crop, it comes to a total of €4.9m (£4.2m) across the sugar beet growers. It’s a welcome boost, helping bring some positive news among the poor weather.
Sander Kok manages 100ha of arable land near Rutten, the Netherlands, along with his father and uncle. Seed potatoes is the main crop, together with brown onions, chicory, sugar beet and wheat