Could this 12.5kg giant be Norfolk's biggest sugar beet of the year?
A west Norfolk farmer has claimed his club's annual trophy for the heaviest sugar beet - defying expectations by harvesting a huge 12.59kg specimen despite a difficult growing season.
Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society’s competition was won by David Eyles from Northwold, narrowly beating his brother Roger, who grew a 12.359kg beet of the same Sabatina variety. Third place went to Tim Whittaker, with a 6.52kg Flixter beet.
After last year’s record yields, this season’s sugar beet have generally been smaller after a cold, wet spring and a dry summer – so club members were amazed at the size of the winning beet.
Club chairman Paul Wortley said: “There was much surprise from the members at the size of the winning root, which doesn’t reflect the average yields from the area this year in a difficult growing season.”
The speaker for the evening was Dr Simon Bowen from the Norwich-based BBRO (British Beet Research Organisation) who explained the centre’s work to continue the upward yield curve for sugar beet crops.
Last year, the BBRO claimed to have grown Norfolk’s biggest sugar beet of the previous campaign – after a gargantuan 16.6kg beet was lifted from a research trial near the east Norfolk coast in December.
Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society’s next meeting will be held at Ryston Golf Club near Downham Market at 7.30pm on December 11, when Dr Roger Draycott from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust will be giving a talk on conservation science.
Mr Wortley said the society will welcome new members involved in the agricultural industry “to come along and meet for an informative evening with likeminded people”. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Have you grown a bigger sugar beet than David Eyles’ 12.59kg specimen? Contact email@example.com.