KWS

Wheat after Beet

Managing the Trade Off

Foreword

Later harvesting of sugar beet maximises yield and revenue, but for some growers it can pose problems for the following wheat crop, especially if soil conditions are less than ideal. In addition, the yield potential of wheat will generally be less the later it is sown.

To get the best from both crops, it is essential to weigh up the value of additional beet income from late harvesting versus the potential loss of wheat yield. Harvesting beet earlier to ensure a good entry and maximum yield for wheat may seem to be a sensible decision, but if the resulting sugar yield loss represents more than the increase in revenue from wheat, then this will deliver a lower overall combined margin from the two crops.

In recent years, breeders have developed robust new wheats that are capable of improved performance when later drilled and hence the balance of the

argument may have changed for many growers. This booklet aims to bring more clarity and precision to this complex and dynamic decision-making process. So maybe it is time to look again at the growing of wheat after beet and to re-examine today’s ‘wheat after beet’ balance?

Having worked for British Sugar for many years, I recognise these issues are a concern for some growers and therefore I welcome this booklet, which has been prepared by wheat breeder KWS UK, as I believe it will help sugar beet growers to look at the options objectively and to maximise the combined returns from both sugar beet and wheat in their rotation.

Robin Limb

Independent Sugar Beet Consultant

Wheat after Beet


KWS