BBRO Demonstration Farm Network

BBRO Demonstration Farms, are open to growers throughout the season.


BBRO is working with several sugar beet growers to explore the application of new technologies and agronomic practices at a commercial scale. Many of the new practices will have already been tested at the replicated plot scale but through BBRO On-Farm we are demonstrating how these can be scaled up to the whole field level.  we are also using the plots as a test bed for potential future research projects.  For example we are putting a number of foliar feeds to the test, if a difference is found we will investigate further with full replicated plots.  


What is a BBRO Demo Farm?

Through our Demonstration Farm network the BBRO can work with growers to assess practices such as the use of cover crops and different cultivation and tillage regimes which can only be assessed at a whole field and cross-rotational scale.

The Demonstration Farm network covers a range of soils types: Lincolnshire brash, silt, peaty loam, and a range of lighter soils such as sands, sandy loam and sandy clay loams.

On each BBRO Demonstration Farm there are strips of commonly grown varieties as well as new additions from the Recommended List. These are drilled, managed and harvested as commercial crops and enable us to compare pest and disease susceptibilities as well providing the opportunities to apply some differential treatments such nitrogen rates and foliar feeds and also to assess yields at different harvest dates. This aspect will provide some insight to variety X soil type X location interactions and how we may be able to ‘tailor’ crop management practice more precisely.

We host grower visits to our Demonstration Farms across the season and these are very well supported and usually ‘spark’ some great discussions. Keep your eye on the ‘Events’ section of the BBRO website to see when these are planned. We look forward to seeing you on-farm.


If you are wondering what topics we demonstrate, here are ten key highlights from the BBRO Demonstration Farms over the last two years:

1.  On farm appliance of science.

2.  Putting the 'O' back into the soil - organic manures.

3.  Using cover crops to improve soil health.

4.  The value of precision nutrition.

5.  Avoiding herbicide checks to growth.

6.  Does my crop need more nutrition ?

7.  Fulfilling autumn growth potential.

8.  Keeping on top of foliage disease.

9.  Cut your harvest losses.





Visit BBRO Demonstration Farms.


Application of organic manures ahead of beet can improve establishment, canopy development and yields, especially in dry conditions (see Sept 19 Beet Review).


Know what you want to achieve, choose your species carefully and establish early to produce good cover crop biomass.


Placement of nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser helps drive early canopy development and yield production as well as possible reductions in nitrogen rates.



How checking different varieties for the recommended minimum growth stage and an understanding of factors that affect crop tolerance can prevent a lot of herbicide damage to your crop.


Demonstrating the inconsistency of both applying more nitrogen and foliar feeds.  You don't need the extra cost.



Using varietal traits such as canopy vigour, growth habit and senescence levels to select the best crop for later harvesting.



Understanding how to use the range of varietal susceptibility to foliage disease to 'fine-tune' your fungicide programme to harvest date.


Regular monitoring of over-crowning, surface and root breakage losses allows you and your harvest operator to maximise yield.



Share on
BBRO is a not for profit making company.
We are set up jointly by British Sugar plc and the National Farmers' Union.

British Sugar
National Farmers' Union