The sugar beet harvest this year will be unequivocally lower than last year, however, the average yield in the central and western regions may approach the 500 hundredweight/ha figure, says Vasily Dolinsky, an analyst of commodity markets and agriculture at the National Center for Agricultural Research “Ukrtsukor”.
According to him, it is still too early to talk about the amount of sugar from a hectare, because everything will depend on the sugar content, the timing of harvesting and storage of root crops. However, in the current season, the sugar content is low, only 13.4%. Last year, for the same period, the farms had 14.8%.
This is due to the fact that the weather went to extremes: after a dry May and the first decade of June, there was a sudden jump to a stable rainy weather. It caused the rapid growth of root crops and tops.
According to the operative data of the “Ukrtsukor”, on August 10 the average weight of the root is 417 g, which is 18.2% more than last year. Of course, there are farms and fields where the average mass of the root reaches 700 g. The last few years in August, the plants suffered from heat and lack of precipitation, therefore the sugar content increased and growth dynamics of the root were slow. This year, the opposite is true: the plants show a high decade-on-year increase of 70 g, which is 20 grams more than last year.
“Sugar beet gained weight and has begun to accumulate sugar, to further enter the phase of maturity. Last years in August the sugar beet already lost a lot of the tops, now it is already August 10th, and the tops have not yet begun to wither and dry. Therefore, the season may begin a little later than planned, but it all depends on weather conditions and ripeness of root crops”, says Dolinsky.