The area of land sown under sugar beet in the UK has increased and crop yields of 100t/ha have been recorded in some areas.

Beet (fodder and sugar) yields are also high in Ireland this year. Many are estimated to have yielded over 86t/ha, but some of the crop is still to be harvested.

Irish crops looked promising early on. However, the yield is difficult to estimate as much of this beet is not being delivered to an official intake point.

Yields up in the UK

Yields were also high across the water in the UK. Overall, sugar yield is estimated at 1.4 million tonnes – an increase of 500,000t from 2016. Contributing to this large increase was the fact that the area of land sown to sugar beet was up by 33% to 107,000ha.

To make a comparison, 116,000ha of sugar beet were sown in the UK in 2014. That crop yielded 1.45 million tonnes. So, 9,000ha more beet was sown in 2014, but the overall yield was only 50,000t more than this year.

The area of land sown to sugar beet in the UK increased as a result of sugar quotas being lifted by the EU.

In the past two years, the area of land sown to beet in Ireland has stayed at 9,400ha.