BEETS: Nordzucker Launches Campaign to Raise Sugar Yield

16 Jun 2011 • by Natalie Aster

Germany's Nordzucker, operating under the Nordic Sugar and Dansukker brands in the Scandinavian and Lithuanian plants it took over from Danish Danisco a few years ago, has launched a project to step up sugar yields from farmers in Denmark, Sweden and Lithuania.

The project is called 20-20-20. "The idea of the 20-20-20 project is that 20% of the best growers must achieve a yield of 20 tonnes of sugar per hectare by the year 2020," says Saulius Mozeris, director of farming and Nordic Sugar in Lithuania, to news2biz.

"Of course, it also means that the rest of the growers will follow their development, but probably not on such a high level. Over a similar period in the past, the yield increase percentage has been even higher, and looking at this development, it gives us, and also farmers, optimism that this goal is reachable. Today, the very best growers in Lithuania have reached a sugar yield of about 14 tonnes per hectare."

How have you been working with beet growers so far?

Saulius Mozeris: "We have developed expanded advisory service to beet growers, which covers all growing procedures from drilling to delivery to factory. Successful transfer of scientific research and development to practise – which has been equally funded by us and beet growers for many years – was one of key factors to achieve impressive results in beet growing. The most sustainable solutions are transferred to the "demo farms", where scientific results are promoted to individual beet growing.

How will you implement the goals of the beet project in Lithuania?

Saulius Mozeris: "We focus of main areas of improvement: beet varieties, optimal solutions in growing technology, especially in beet harvesting and storing areas."

According to official statistics, 15,300 ha of prime Lithuanian agricultural land produced 722,000 tonnes of beet or approximately 47.2 tonnes per hectare. The average sugar yield for all growers in Lithuania is about 8 tonnes/ha.

The above news abstract has been taken from a bi-weekly newsletter to professionals doing business in Eastern Europe "news2biz – Food and Agriculture".

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