Farmers Weekly Podcast Episode 34: Growers fight for sugar beet future

Sugar beet growers hit by virus yellows could be given special permission to use neonicotinoid-treated seed next spring – if the government gives the go-ahead.

Growers are walking away from the crop after seeing yields plummet due to the disease. But will an emergency neonicotinoid application work?

See also: Beet growers reveal the massive yield cost of virus yellows

Defra secretary George Eustice hits back following criticism after suggesting UK sheep and dairy farmers could ride out a no-deal Brexit.

What was he talking about?

We’ve the latest market prices – and welcome news for farmers of an extension to annual investment allowance tax relief.

Our farm medicine usage is edging up as new sector targets are launched – but is it blip more than an upward trend?

We find out how California has cut its dairy methane by a quarter – and examine what UK producers can learn from the drive for net zero.

And we hear what happened when two Hollywood stars bought a Welsh football club and make a spoof advertisement for a farm trailer manufacturer.

This episode co-hosted by Farmers Weekly chief reporter Johann Tasker and Surrey farmer Hugh Broom, with Farmers Weekly deputy business editor Andrew Meredith.


Podcast sponsors

Massey Ferguson

With more than 160 years of innovation and experience, Massey Ferguson is one of the world’s leading tractor brands and a force in the global harvesting business.

You can find out more about Massey Ferguson and the wider AGCO family, here.


Built on our strong heritage as a founder and pioneering company in the mineral fertiliser industry, Yara is a Norwegian based company which converts energy, natural minerals and nitrogen into the full range of crop nutrition products and a wide range of industrial applications.

Today, Yara retains its global position as a leading provider of nitrogen based mineral fertilisers and industrial products. The company is the global leader in ammonia, nitrates and speciality fertilisers.


AMAZONE is the specialist for fertiliser spreaders, seed drills, powered (rotary cultivators and rotary harrows) and non-powered soil cultivation (compact disc harrows, mulch cultivators and tine and disc cultivators), precision air seeders and crop protection sprayers.

The philosophy at AMAZONE is to provide a high-level of technical support to the product, before, during and after the purchase to ensure our customers gets the best out of their AMAZONE equipment for years to come.


Based at Thriplow near Cambridge, KWS UK has been providing growers with innovative new varieties to meet varied end-market needs for over 25 years. We develop a wide range of oilseed rape, maize, sugar beet and cereal varieties in conjunction with the KWS group.

We use a range of technologies to ensure improved crop performance consistency to benefit all; merchant, farmer, processor and ultimately the end-user customer. Higher yields, superior disease and pest resistance and improved performance in adverse conditions are all key criteria we seek to establish in our product portfolio.

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