Know How / Sugar beet / Crop management

Growing sugar beet to limit the threat from pests, diseases and weeds and produce top yields needs expertise and timely use of the right inputs.

Find practical guidance and topical tips on maintaining canopy health, fine-tuning fertilisers and understanding variation, as well as achieving more of the potential yield.

Case studies

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ARABLE

How on-farm interventions keep soil and water in place

A whole-farm approach to water management has seen a Norfolk estate introduce measures that have returned 45m litres of water to the environment. Working with the Norfolk Rivers Trust as…

SUGAR BEET

Sugar beet drilling racing ahead in near-perfect conditions

Sugar beet drilling is racing ahead in south Lincolnshire in dry spring weather with two-thirds of the national crop expected to be in the ground by the Easter weekend. First-time…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How and why a farmer trained to do his own agronomy

Benchmarking against other farmers is a great way to identify cost savings and it was the starting point for Cornish farmer Ashley Jones's journey to train as an agronomist. Having…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How the new Monitor Farm plans to scrutinise cropping costs

The AHDB’s new Wisbech Monitor Farm hosts, father and son Andrew and Sam Melton, are focusing on the challenges to profitability as they start their three-year stint as part of…

SOILS

How to identify and encourage worms to improve soils

Earthworms are a key measure of soil health, as they can mobilise locked-up minerals, help drainage and spread organic matter to improve soil structure. Therefore, we travelled to one of…

SUGAR BEET

The secret to Norfolk farm's record-breaking sugar beet yield

Will Jones of Salle Farms in Norfolk recorded a record-breaking 121t/ha sugar beet yield  in 2017, achieving 97% of the crop’s yield potential to win the British Beet Research Organisation's…

Practical advice

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DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Epoxiconazole: How to fill the fungicide gap

Epoxiconazole has been a familiar component in the disease control programmes of cereal and sugar beet crops for almost 20 years. First registered in 1993 by BASF, an EU ban…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Key considerations for sugar beet weed control this season

Knowing your weeds and herbicide actives, combined with regular monitoring of crop and environmental conditions, will be crucial to achieve good weed control without the key active desmedipham. It was…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

How the emergency authorisation for neonics in beet will work

Sugar beet growers will potentially have the neonicotinoid seed treatment Cruiser SB available for use to control aphids transmitting virus yellows, which decimated yields last season, after Defra authorised an…

PEST MANAGEMENT

4 tips to monitor insect populations to aid pest management

Identifying and monitoring insect populations can benefit growers, providing them with knowledge of the abundance of species on farm so a pest management system can be integrated. Mark Ramsden, senior…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Tips on using foliar sprays to control virus yellows in beet

Timing will be critical in getting the most out of foliar insecticides this spring, with sugar beet crops facing a high threat from virus yellows. The peach potato aphid is…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Tips on tackling weeds in sugar beet without desmedipham

Sugar beet growers can still achieve effective control of costly weeds in crops without the herbicide desmedipham, although care should be taken as there is a higher risk of crop…

Insights

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NVZS

The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in England

Nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs) account for about 55% of land in England, making it more likely than not that a farming enterprise is within a designated NVZ. So with NVZs…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Analysis: How Brexit affects farmers' access to pesticides

Adequate resources and a more pragmatic, science-based approach by UK regulators will be crucial to growers gaining better access to crop-protection tools after Brexit. Over recent years, plenty of criticism…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Could beneficial insects help fight against virus yellows?

In the hunt for new solutions to virus yellows in sugar beet, research into whether biological control can help is being ramped up on a Cambridgeshire farm this season. An…

SOILS

Why regular liming can raise profits by up to £436/ha/year

A new study has highlighted the benefit of a long-term liming strategy in arable rotations, with regular applications shown to significantly increase farm profitability. Agricultural soils become acidic naturally and…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Beet growers reveal the massive yield cost of virus yellows

A combination of virus yellows infections and poor growing conditions in the spring have devastated sugar beet yields for some growers, particularly in the Wissington factory region. David Hoyles, who…

TECHNOLOGY

Round-up of 9 arable apps that can benefit farmers

Whether it’s selecting which varieties to drill, using data to determine input timings or ensuring machinery and equipment is safe to use, there is a constant supply of new apps…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Nematicide Red Tractor rules for farmers explained

Potato and sugar beet growers have to comply with the Best Practice Protocol for nematicides if they are part of the Red Tractor assurance scheme. The protocol, which applies to…

IRRIGATION

Arable Horizons: How farmers can help secure water needs

Water availability for agricultural use is forecast to come under increasing pressure as higher demand and climate change put pressure on supplies. The Adaptation Sub Committee of the Committee on…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Why more trials are needed to fill applied research gap

A lack of independent applied research in the UK arable sector is prompting calls for more on-farm trials to solve its most pressing practical problems. For many years after the…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Beet growers to stay vigilant amid reports of virus yellows

Sugar beet growers are being urged to remain vigilant amid the first reports of a forgotten disease, with monitoring highlighting the much higher aphid pressure in fields this summer. Virus…

ROTATIONS

Why herbal leys have been added to arable rotation trial

The benefits of adding sugar beet and herbal leys in arable rotations are being investigated in a long-term rotational study in Suffolk, reflecting the changing challenges faced by growers.  After…

TECHNOLOGY

How French spraying tech can slash herbicide spend by 80%

French kit maker Kuhn is moving into high-tech solutions such as spot-spraying, offering farmers dramatically increased application accuracy and decreased production costs. It is in response to more established competitors bringing…

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