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Self-Grow opportunity to get in to sugar beet

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As the sole processor of the UK’s beet sugar crop, we work in partnership with over 2,500 growers and our customers to deliver a world-class product that is made to the highest standards every day. We are the leading producer of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets, processing around eight million tonnes of homegrown sugar beet and producing up to 1.4 million tonnes of sugar each year.

Farmers in East Anglia who have never grown sugar beet before, or former growers looking to return to beet, can consider land rental agreements for the 2022 crop.

British Sugar Self-Grow team Anthony Hagen and Abbi Taylor with contractor Nigel Harrison

British Sugar Self Grow team Anthony Hagen and Abbi Taylor with contractor Nigel Harrison © British Sugar

Sugar beet production can provide a competitive return on farm as well as serving as a highly-effective break crop in an arable rotation. And even though growing sugar beet makes good sense, the prospect of adding it to the rotation can lie just outside a non-grower’s comfort zone.

For farmers who may not have grown sugar beet before, or former growers looking to return, British Sugar Self-Grow can provide a route into beet production.

Self-Grow is the company’s in-house farming operation. “In its most basic form, Self-Grow is a land rental agreement between British Sugar and the farmer,” says Abbi Taylor, senior crop production manager.

Within that broad definition there is huge scope for prospective growers to tailor agreements to suit their set up and practical experience. “At one end of the scale all the farmer has to do is collect the rent… we do everything else from soil sampling to cultivation, drilling, spraying, lifting and haulage,” explains Abbi.

Alternatively, farmers can choose to take on some of the fieldwork such as drilling or spraying if they have their own suitable equipment. “We can provide the agronomy and advisory support but as a first choice we prefer to work with the farm’s own agronomist” she says.

Anthony Hagen, crop production manager adds: “Working with local practical expertise allows us to gain first-hand knowledge of a farm’s infrastructure and fields. We use this to employ the right nutrient and cultivation programme for the crop to achieve the best yields, whilst maintaining soil health and condition.

“It is important we agree the correct harvest date to suit the farm so we can be working the land at the optimum time for yield and soil structure.”

Self-Grow is looking for suitable parcels of land in East Anglia within easy reach of the sugar factories at Bury St Edmunds, Wissington and Cantley. This, coupled with soils that allow the Self-Grow team some flexibility during harvest, attract the highest rental payments, explains Abbi.

Farmers who would like to find out more about Self-Grow and how this opportunity could work for them should contact us on the details below to discuss the options available.

Contact Abbi Taylor at or Anthony Hagen at or call freephone 0800 090 2376.

Looking for a profitable spring-sown break crop?

Don’t already have sugar beet on farm? Consider Self-Grow

  • Guaranteed income
  • Operations contracted to suit your farm
  • All inputs purchased by British Sugar

Contact Self-Grow to discuss land rental options