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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Video: Sugar beet drilling success with near-perfect weather

Sugar beet drilling is racing to a close in the current dry weather with higher beet prices and the availability of a key virus yellows seed treatment prompting more optimism…


4 growers' methods of effective cover crop destruction

Cover crops are becoming a mainstream option for growers, but their effective removal is critical to get good spring crop establishment. Farmers Weekly speaks to four growers from across the…


Video: Good early sugar beet yield as harvesting speeds up

Sugar beet harvesting is kicking off with promising yields for one Suffolk farmer amid more optimism among growers due to low disease levels and a price rise in the pipeline.…


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 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…


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…

Practical advice

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Aphid pressure mounts in sugar beet crops - what you can do

Aphids are now flying and sugar beet growers are being urged to check their crops, as some have already reached the spray threshold for these vectors of virus yellows in…


3 factors growers can influence to maximise sugar beet yields

After five years of monitoring more than 150 fields, the Beet Yield Challenge (BYC) has identified three important factors which growers can target to narrow the 10-25% gap between actual…


Updated advice on tackling cercospora in sugar beet

Burying infected leaves, identifying disease early and timely fungicide treatments are all steps growers can make to keep on top of the aggressive sugar beet disease cercospora. Cercospora is the…


Advice on clamping sugar beet for optimal harvest storage

This year’s sugar beet harvest campaign is now under way, and a shortage of HGV drivers is expected to limit crop collection times, which may force some beet growers to…


Are growers paying too much for sugar beet weed control?

Trials this year show that some sugar beet growers might be spending too much on herbicides, with some commonly used and effective broad-leaved weed control programmes showing a huge range…


How beet growers will benefit from cercospora warning system

A new early warning system for cercospora is being used by the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) following last season’s outbreak, which exacerbated the impact of virus yellows on sugar…


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Can silicon crop sprays benefit growers this season?

Despite silicon being the world’s second most abundant element, making up 25% of the earth's crust, crops can still benefit from its application, which has a vital role in plant…


Tips on managing nematodes without Vydate in sugar beet

A new granular nematicide containing 45% garlic extract has been authorised for use in sugar beet following promising results against free-living nematodes – the main cause of Docking disorder. Nemguard…


Why sugar beet variety choice has a role in weed control

Research shows that crop canopy – driven by good establishment, variety choice and adequate nutrition – should play a more integral role in weed management strategies in sugar beet. Weeds…


The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in NI and Scotland

Nitrate vulnerable zones exist to protect the environment against potential pollution from fertiliser and manure applications. Each devolved nation has its own rules – so what do arable farmers need…


4 slug pellet myths busted for better control

The withdrawal of metaldehyde means growers will soon only have ferric phosphate slug pellets to count on when managing this devastating pest. However, there are a number of myths on…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…

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