The crop progression research programme is targeted at areas where we believe there is the greatest potential for development. In 2016 we will be instigating programmes focussed on closing the yield gap between the commercial crop and the variety trials. Whilst improved genetics have had high impact there is a need to strengthen out the programme in other key areas such as soil management, early crop rooting and canopy development, further understanding how the crop is influenced by environmental relationships; water, nutrients, soil and temperature. It is well known that there is a direct relationship between radiation interception and sugar yield so the key to producing a high yield crop is early canopy closure which enables the crop to utilise the higher levels of solar radiation received in June and July. Aspects of agronomy such as soil management & cultivation, variety choice, plant population, planting dates, the nutritional and water requirement of our crops are therefore important factors in influencing the progression of our yields.