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Monitoring emerging threats from pests, diseases and weeds is vital to ensure sugar beet crops are able to reach their potential – as well... Better prices help fuel demand for precision beet hoe

Monitoring emerging threats from pests, diseases and weeds is vital to ensure sugar beet crops are able to reach their potential – as well as for selecting new genetics and seed treatments, says plant breeder SesVanderhave.

“One of the ways we achieve our objectives is by mirroring and anticipating changes to commercial practice in crop management,” says SesVanderhave technical manager Tim Giles, who says the  company operates an extensive UK trials network.

“Weed control is critical for all crops, and while sugar beet helps address grassweeds like blackgrass within the rotation, we need to consider potential resistance build-up as the products in the armoury become ever more restricted.”

The efficacy of available herbicides must be preserved to cope with climate change effects that may see invasive species emerging, says Mr Giles. “You only have to look at how ragwort has spread across the country to see why.”

Increasing pressure

Combine this with increasing pressure to reduce agrochemical usage, hand-hoeing labour and machinery costs – and it was a natural step for SesVanderhave to invest in a Monosem precision hoe from Toucan.

“This addition to our equipment line-up will increase accuracy and working the soil is a proven way to stimulate rooting, help warm the soil, prevent capping and run-off when we get a deluge, explains Mr Giles

“In time we anticipate a greater move to both inter- and in-row mechanical weeding or band spraying to control weeds and disrupt herbicide resistance.  So we need to adapt our trials practices accordingly.”

“We have a long-standing collaboration with Monosem who worked closely with us to design and build our fleet of precision drills. To develop ways to achieve enhanced weed control within trials is a logical progression of this partnership.”

Reneewed interest

Toucan manging director Steve Twist says it confirms similar messages resonating from sugar beet and fodder beet growers with renewed interest in hoes generally and precision hoes specifically. For organic beet growers it’s a vital key to successful production.

The Monosem Multicrop inter row cultivator chosen by SesVanderhave is particularly sought after for its strength of build , simple adjustment, and array of tools, plus  it  is fitted with an  Isobus task controller to individually lift units by GPS position.

This reduces crop damage for  a more efficient and accurate operation. Better sugar beet prices for 2022 have renewed interest in Monosem machines, says Mr Twist, with demand building for units ready for growers next season.

On-farm demo for days for harvester

Machinery specialists AgVantage are offering growers and contractors demonstrations of the Dewulf RCA3060 self-propelled harvester.

The two-row machine has a 1600 mm wide C-elevator and has an axial module of 18 rollers. The speed  and angle can be adjusted from the cabin. The module has an anti-blocking system and a scraper that prevents build-ups above the gearbox of the axial module.

To ensure smooth product flow, smooth rollers have been fitted between the third sieving web and the axial module. If extra cleaning is required, the discharge conveyor can be equipped with an Easy-Clean unit of three smooth rollers alternating with deformable spiral rollers.

The waste is removed from the machine by means of a waste belt. If even more intensive cleaning may be required, growers can opt for two Easy-Clean units, adjustable in height, direction of rotation and speed, in the discharge conveyor with associated waste belt.

For details and to arrange a demonstration, visit www.agvantage.co.uk

For more on root crops, read about the power company working with British Sugar to keep workers safe.