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EU sugar beet yields plunge to decade-low in 2021 on poor weather and pesticide ban

December 2, 2021

1 mins read

European sugar beet area is projected to fall from 1.6 m ha in 2017/18 (the first year since the production quotas were abolished), to 1.45 m ha and 1.4 m ha in 2020/21 and 2021/22 respectively. Aside from the end of quotas, the EU also implemented the ban on neonicotinoids (NNI) pest seed treatments. Additionally, two seasons of poor weather conditions – heatwave and aridity in 2020/21, followed by frost and dry conditions in the 2021/22 planting season – caused yields to plunge. Some regions that had sown beet without NNIs were forced to contend with pests and diseases.

Average EU+UK yields plunged to a decade low of 10.1 t/ha in 2020/21. France, the largest regional beet producer, was the most affected region with 9.3 t/ha yields, from almost 12 t/ha immediately following the quota ban. This is almost 27% below the five-year European average according to the European Beet Growers association (CIBE). However, a slight relaxation of the NNI ban (CIBE) estimates NNI treated seeds would comprise 50% of total beet area in 2021, compared to 25% in 2020. Regular rainfall and moderate temperatures of this summer have been beneficial to crop growth, although insufficient sunshine in some regions has stunted the sugar content of the root. Average beet yields are forecast to rebound to approximately 11.3 t/ha, despite lower planted hectarage. Based on higher expected yields and despite lower planted area, European production is forecast to increase by 1.1m tonnes (7.12%) y-o-y in 2020/21 to 16.5 m tonnes.



Ibi Idoniboye
Ibi Idoniboye

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