Bad weather hinders sugar beet sowing in Germany

13.04.2018

Poor weather has hindered the start of sugar beet sowing in Germany, the European Union's second largest beet producer, but the sowed area is likely to be similar to last year, the head of Germany's sugar industry association WVZ said on Monday.

It is reported by Reuters.

«Sowings of sugar beet has started this year with a significant delay, — said association CEO Guenter Tissen, — In some regions the delay has now reached four weeks in comparison with last year. The recent cold weather with snow and rain has hindered sowings».

It is too early to say if the sowings delay will have an impact on the harvest, he said. Sowings in other major EU producers are also facing delays, observers said.

Europe’s sugar industry and beet farmers are facing a tough time with a sharp fall in prices following the European Union’s sugar market liberalisation in September 2017 which ended production quotas and linked EU prices to world markets.

German farmers had last year increased sugar beet sowings to around 407,000 hectares against 334,000 hectares in the previous season. This year’s sowed area may reach around the same despite the price fall, Tissen said.

«There are still no precise sowing figures for Germany, — Tissen said, — But a fundamental change is not really expected».

Farmers generally make decisions on sugar beet plantings well ahead of the planting time, ordering beet seed well in advance, while alternatives such as spring grains are also have depressed prices, Tissen said.

«In the longer term sugar prices will surely play a greater role in annual sowing decisions and the total area sowed», — he said, — But other crops which can be planted in the spring are currently not promising better earnings than sugar beet. So in the short term there should be no fundamental changes to sowed area».


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