UK sugar beet growers have once again achieved record average yields, marking the fourth time records have been broken in seven years. The previous record set in 2009 was 71.7 tonnes of sugar beet per hectare, but growers have surpassed this to reach 75.6 t/ha, according to British Sugar.
Each year the UK sugar beet industry jointly invests over £1.8 million in research, development and industry education with the aim of helping growers to increase their competitiveness and profitability whilst simultaneously promoting sustainable and environmentally responsible practices. Priorities for the industry’s research and development programme, which is operated by the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), are to increase productivity, reduce inputs and to maximise the environmental benefits obtained by including sugar beet in the arable crop rotation. The programme is a key part of the industry’s strategy as an advanced and sustainable manufacturer in a sector which today provides jobs for 13,000 people across easternEngland.
Colm McKay, British Sugar’s agriculture director, comments: “Achieving this new record yield is a fantastic achievement for our growers and again shows how by working in partnership British Sugar, the NFU and growers are able to deliver real and sustainable efficiency gains.UK sugar beet yields have risen dramatically in recent years and the new BBRO 4×4 yield programme is very much focused on continuing that trend, taking yield to new record levels. The new record is a fitting start to the British beet industry’s centenary year.”