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Whopping 12.5kg sugar beet hailed as club's biggest of the year

PUBLISHED: 10:25 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:52 20 November 2019

Roger Lankfer (second right) took first and second place in Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society's 2019 sugar beet competition. He is pictured with (from left) society chairman Robert Smart, guest speaker John Miles of KWS, and Roger Eyles, who took third place. Picture: John Hall

Roger Lankfer (second right) took first and second place in Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society's 2019 sugar beet competition. He is pictured with (from left) society chairman Robert Smart, guest speaker John Miles of KWS, and Roger Eyles, who took third place. Picture: John Hall

John Hall

A west Norfolk farmer has lifted his club's annual trophy after harvesting a sugar beet weighing a whopping 12.56kg.

Roger Lankfer, of Wereham near Downham Market, won Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society's competition to find the heaviest single root of sugar beet for this season.

His winning specimen was of the variety BTS1140 and he also claimed second place with a root weighing 12.33kg, while third place went to a 9.27kg Gaguin beet grown by last year's winner, Roger Eyles.

The club's meeting also heard about the industry efforts being made to continue the yield growth of this staple East Anglian crop.

New chairman Robert Smart welcomed guest speaker John Miles from seed breeder KWS, who explained the firm's commitment to research and development to produce the sugar beet seed genetics of the future.

He said new varieties are coming forward with resistance to virus yellows - a major disease threat to the crop now that farmers are unable to protect it with neonicotinoid seed treatments, which were banned by the EU following concerns over the chemicals' impact on bee health.

- Have you grown a bigger sugar beet than Roger Lanker's 12.56kg specimen? Contact chris.hill@archant.co.uk.

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