Sugar beet growers are to receive better advice about growing the crop, following a three-year strategy published by the British Beet Research Organisation.
The three-year vision document sets out the BBRO’s aspiration to undertake and implement research and knowledge exchange which increases the competitiveness of the UK sugar beet industry – financially and environmentally.
“We will have an efficient team of enthusiastic and world-respected experts in their individual fields, and we will support and steer key decision-making across the sector, from strategic industry planning to on-farm agronomy,” it says.
The document says the BBRO will expand its knowledge exchange (KE) activities to deliver greater commercial value to growers using personalised and tailored information via a range of communication channels, especially digital messaging and applications.
Relevant and timely information will be shared with growers according to their requirements. This will range from a Brilliant Basics package at operator level to Agronomy Plus for agronomists and other key decision makers.
Growers can expect to see more use made of local agronomy hubs, pest and disease forecasting and local demonstration farm events. This will include using on-farm trials data to improve knowledge about growing the crop.
Building on the success of previous years, yield improvement remains a key goal. “We will roll out the Beet Yield Tracker tool to help grower decision making and ensure all growers understand the true potential of their sugar beet crop,” says the document.
Recommended List trials will continue with additional descriptive information on the impact of pests and diseases. The goal is to continue to drive yield progress but while exploiting new beneficial agronomic traits.
Controlling aphids and virus yellows will remain a key priority. The BBRO says it will assess varietal, chemical, non-chemical and innovative technical options – including the potential of different breeding techniques.