Growing fodder beet for first time after AHDB meeting.

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
It’s hard to grow swedes like an arable crop anymore, one pre emergence for weeds and that’s all you can do about them. Found a mix of swedes and beet here seems to work well, treat the beet as an insurance policy for the swedes and then on a good year can always sell the beet
Exactly the reason I grow beet. It’s an insurance against the unreliability of swedes and stubble turnips. Beet saved me in 2012, last year, and i’ll Be glad of it this year too.
I’m considering dropping swedes tbh, but I don’t think beet would do very well under Glastir management, whereas swedes sometimes do.
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
Has anyone used "Primed" Fodder Beet seed?
Yes, for the last few years. Costs about a tenner extra (per acre pack) but the germination & emergence is far more even ime, which especially makes a difference in a dry/catchy Spring. I worked out, on a fag packet, that it pays for the extra cost if we get half a ton per acre extra yield, which I think it has exceeded easily.

This year I have a 17ac field in beet, 12 in (primed) Geronimo and 5 in (normal) Brigadier. From past experience of those varieties and priming, I drilled the Geronimo at about 40k seeds/ac and the Brigadier at 50k seeds (pretty well negating the difference in seed price). There are far less misses in the Geronimo, which has led to a far more consistent crop where I expect the DM yield/ac to be far higher than the Brigadier. The Brigadieris further out of the ground and has some bigger beet either side of the misses, but fewer of them, despite the higher seed rate.

Priming is worth every penny ime.
 

digger64

Member
It's OTE="neilo, post: 6630965, member: 348"]
Bigger bulbs & tops, as they have more space to grow out, much like those beets on the end of a row grow much bigger. Saving on seed is pretty negligible tbh, given the other growing costs, and would easily be outweighed if a thicker crop produced more DM/ha.

A local guy that likes to use his calculator, reckons DM yield per ha is increased with fewer, bigger beet. They d9 have longer to grow in most grazing situations, than sugar beet crops that are generally lifted earlier, and where most of the agronomy reccs originate. We don’t necessarily want the same thing from fodder beet crop to graze in situ though. I’d like as much top as possible for instance, as long as it stood a bit of cold weather ok.
[/QUOTE]
Its OK as long as you don't have a change of plan and decide to lift some .
 

neilo

Member
Location
Montgomeryshire
It's OTE="neilo, post: 6630965, member: 348"]
Bigger bulbs & tops, as they have more space to grow out, much like those beets on the end of a row grow much bigger. Saving on seed is pretty negligible tbh, given the other growing costs, and would easily be outweighed if a thicker crop produced more DM/ha.

A local guy that likes to use his calculator, reckons DM yield per ha is increased with fewer, bigger beet. They d9 have longer to grow in most grazing situations, than sugar beet crops that are generally lifted earlier, and where most of the agronomy reccs originate. We don’t necessarily want the same thing from fodder beet crop to graze in situ though. I’d like as much top as possible for instance, as long as it stood a bit of cold weather ok.
Its OK as long as you don't have a change of plan and decide to lift some .
[/QUOTE]

I plan on lifting mine to sell, or as much as I can spare anyway. They don’t get big enough to be a problem ime, just bigger than they might have been if planted on top of each other.

The only massive beet I ever have are the Brigadier beet, where an odd one has grown in a bare patch. You couldn’t lift them anyway, you’d have to push them up with a fork I reckon.
 

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What motivates us to farm?

Written by Jimmy.Phillips@ahdb.org.uk

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Motivation in farming is a challenging subject to tackle.

Farmers often think about how we do things, but don’t really consider why. People are all different and come into farming from all sorts of angles, be...
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