British Sugar advises on dealing with frozen beet

SUGAR beet processor British Sugar has issued guidance to growers on dealing with frost-affected crops.

Processing in the four beet factories (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; Cantley and Wissington, Norfolk, and Newark, Nottinghamshire) has been adjusted to deal with frosted crops, but severely deteriorated beet has the potential to drastically reduce factory throughputs, says British Sugar.

Growers are being advised to minimise the storage time between harvest and delivery, in order to limit deterioration in the clamp and allow beet in the field to ‘recover’ slowly.

Deteriorating crowns are a cause for concern and advice is to set harvester topping mechanisms to remove frost-affected crown material.

Only beet sufficient to fulfill permits for ‘the next few days’ should be lifted and lifting and delivering in-field beet should take priority over delivering sound, clamped beet, says British Sugar.

The very low temperatures of recent weeks have affected crops in each of the factory areas, says agriculture communications manager Paul Bee.

Some areas around the Newark factory received less snow and crops were subsequently more exposed to the extreme cold temperatures, he adds.

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