Strube UK’s Managing Director reviews the 2019 season, the new contracts and gives his seed recommendations for 2020.
Winter is now upon us; the nights have drawn in with heavy early morning dews and a few ground frosts. The beet campaign has started with Bury and Newark opening their gates back on 24th September whilst Wissington started 1st October and Cantley the week after that. Both the latter dates were pushed back a week from the original plan as a result of the very dry summer conditions. Most parts of the beet growing area eventually had rain in late September but this was very variable from flooding in Yorkshire to only very limited rainfall in parts of Suffolk and Norfolk.
2019 Sugar Beet Harvest: Looking Good Despite the Rain?
Conditions changed quite dramatically at the end of September when it started to rain, unfortunately it hasn’t really stopped since, some parts of the beet growing area have had nearly 400 mm since then. This has made conditions extremely challenging for all land work resulting in some winter cereals not been drilled and leaving a few potato crops not yet harvested.
Despite the challenges of no neonicotinoid seed treatments and the summer drought most crops remaining in the ground look green and reasonably healthy although there is plenty of foliar disease on crop canopies. There are still some pale green and yellowing symptoms visible in fields for a whole host of reasons (nutrient deficiency, early compaction, BCN, etc). There are also some patches of Virus Yellows in many fields but it looks like aphid control in early summer worked relatively well even with the high volume of aphids flying.
Most crops have probably had two fungicide applications and some may have received a third but Cercospera and or Rust can still be found in most fields. Yields look to be reasonably good with the high sugar contents very early season falling back quickly following all the rainfall. Current averages are around 16.7%. Harvesting conditions are now extremely challenging with the often-saturated soil conditions and beet stocks on farm are low.
Seed orders are now on farm so don’t forget to make sure that you order your Strube sugar beet varieties early. Our varieties will again be very competitively priced and offer excellent value for money.
- Haydn is very well proven and reliable, delivering good yields and very low bolting. It has excellent establishment and large healthy tops that cover the ground quickly in the spring/summer.
Haydn also performed very well in the first year of the BBRO Virus Yellows trial as reported in the May 2019 Sugar Beet Review, it was the highest yielding variety in the BMYV trial. BMYV is the most common Virus Yellows Disease in the UK. Haydn should be seriously considered for part of your 2020 seed order.
Degas was first recommended in 2017 and had a good market share of the national crop in 2018. With good yields and the second highest sugar content on the 2020 Recommended List DEGAS should be considered as a cost effective ‘transport’ variety, especially if you are growing beet further from the factory.
- Gauguin was recommended in 2018, Gauguin is a very competitively priced BCN tolerant variety, it is also the lowest early sown bolting BCN variety available on the 2020 Recommended List. Gauguin provides good yields and affordable protection against nematodes in fields with low, medium and high levels of infection, where yield losses of up to 40% can occur.
Like to Know More?
If you would like to know more about any of Strube’s seed varieties, then please get in touch. For further information on any aspects of growing sugar beet or variety selection you can contact Mark on 07850 369773 or drop the team an email by clicking here.