The government has approved an emergency application for sugar beet growers to use neonicotinoid-treated seed to combat virus yellows in 2021.
European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom negotiators finally agreed on a deal on 24th December after Brexit. The Economic and Trade Partnership Agreement guarantees trade without tariffs or quotas for “all goods which comply with the appropriate rules of origin”. This includes sugar and several processed food products.
Sugar beet growers will be able to fix their own beet prices rather than accept a fixed amount, in a new pricing platform launched recently and developed by the National Farmers Union (NFU) with support from British Sugar.
The government announced on 16th December that it is to allow 260,000 tonnes of raw sugar to be imported tariff-free in 2021, as it develops an independent trade policy for the first time in nearly 50 years.
With 2020/21 campaign in full swing, the sugar beet output is set to decline by 25%, mirroring similar fall in sugar production. The fall in output is largely due to the severe effect on yields from aphid-spread virus yellows disease, reported Farmers Weekly.
UK – 2020/21 campaign – Beet growers report massive yield drops due to virus yellows [Full subscriber]
With the 2020/21 campaign in full swing, beet growers in some regions have seen yields drop by 70% and some growers are considering switching to other crops according to Farmers Weekly.
British Sugar recently announced that it will be exploiting Rezatec’s optical and radar satellite imagery to help plan the supply of sugar beet to its factories during harvest with greater efficiency.
British Sugar and NFU Sugar unveiled on 24th August one-year and three-year sugar beet contracts and prices from 2021.