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Nordzucker Post 01/2021 - 28 January 2021

Being prepared for change

Under the leadership of Christopher Münke-Svendsen, Head of Agri Sustainable Beet Growing, the “Smart Beet Initiative” was launched at Nordzucker at the beginning of 2020. Despite restrictions on crop protection products, profitable sugar beet cultivation is the goal. But where do the new methods come from? ” Change in cultivation that has been practiced for decades requires courage and innovative strength, but also scientific work,” says Christopher Münke-Svendsen.

In all Nordzucker countries, therefore, more than 20 additional field trials were running in 2020 to complement the existing research work, from which we were able to learn a lot for practical use. Almost 30 trials are planned for 2021. These will deal, for example, with mechanical weed control, the combination of chemical and mechanical weed control and precision spraying. But questions of cultivation, the use of flowering strips to support beneficial insects will also be further investigated.

What makes the field trials so interesting and challenging for Nordzucker is that our beets are grown under very different geographical and climatic conditions. The trials under the Smart Beet Initiative are therefore being conducted in all our growing countries. Adaptations of the trial questions to regional requirements make the results from the trials valuable for cultivation.

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