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Spring cropping

Whilst the aftermath of the current years’ sugar beet and potato crops is as yet unknown and the success or otherwise of this Autumns oilseed rape drilling is developing, thoughts will soon turn to the choice of Spring Crops available. Whilst gross margin is an important part of the spring crop decision, other considerations might include: –

  1. Weed burdens and the ability to target them cheaply pre or within the Spring Crop.
  2. The ability to achieve contracts for sale particularly on niche Spring Crops.
  3. Storage, the use of available shed space and its knock on effect of storing other crops in the rotation.
  4. The use of residual chemicals in the preceding crop – particularly behind aborted rape.
  5. Combining capacity if harvest of the Spring Crop collides with wheat – particularly on larger scale units.
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Sugar Beet Factories Open

Last week saw the beginning of the 2016/17 sugar beet campaign. With sugar beet being a valuable break crop in the eastern region, the question is what will this year’s harvest bring?

Reduced planting area and test digs revealed a later maturing crop which has in turn led to a slightly later than normal opening date, and an estimated 14 week campaign. It is hoped that this will give the crop the opportunity to grow to its best potential and maximise yields available.

So where will this year’s crop yield? Wet weather in the spring delayed plantings, this was followed by a dry summer season with a reduced number of sunlight hours. As a crop which relies heavily on rainwater for its growth, I think it’s is fair to say we are expecting to see an average yielding crop this year.