Beet transfer scheme starts

By FWi staff

SUGAR beet growers hit by rhizomania can, from today (Friday), transfer contract tonnage to unaffected growers as the Rhizomania Stewardship Scheme starts.

The annual leasing scheme is designed to ease the pressures on affected farms, reduce levy-funded compensation and contain the disease.

British Sugar has launched a tender system where farmers can submit blind bids to acquire the right to grow beet on unaffected land for a year.

“There are no commission charges,” says Mr Limb. “We can also set up private agreements between growers.”

Consultant DCFM already has about 20 private deals prepared, ranging from 200t to 1500t, says the companys Duncan Clark. “People are paying £12/t.”

That is a reasonable price for many growers, says Simon Ward of Bidwells. “The key is the return compared with other alternatives, like peas, beans and oilseeds. In some cases, the differential is greater on lower-yielding farms, so they can afford to pay more.”

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