To increase the profitability and sustainability of the UK sugar beet industry through reductions in soil tare
Large quantities of soil adhering to beet are delivered to factories during the campaign at considerable cost to the industry in transportation, removal and disposal. Improvements in the design and operation of harvesters and cleaner-loaders that allow better removal of the soil on-farm have mitigated this to some extent. Even so, soil tares in recent campaigns have amounted to around 350,000 tonnes (or the equivalent of 11,000 lorry loads) of soil l delivered to British Sugar’s factories each year at a cost in excess of £2.5 million to the industry. This project seeks to determine whether soil tares can be decreased further by changing o-farm storage practices to increase the rate of drying of the soil on lifted beet, thus making more of it removable prior to delivery. The questions it seeks to resolve are: to what extent does store covering help the drying process? And will a reduction in the costs of soil transport and disposal outweigh the potential storage losses of sugar?