Harvest quality of sugar beet varies according to soil conditions, harvester type and setting, and variety, too. Harvest quality may affect storage losses, in particular when injuries occur. To determine the harvest quality of commercial sugar beet and to quantify resulting storage losses, 92 commercial sugar beet clamps were sampled across Germany and information about harvest conditions were gathered. At IfZ, soil tare, leaf residues, topping diameter, root tip breakage and surface damage of the beets were determined. The beets were stored in 6 replicates in a climate container at 9°C for 10 weeks. The results demonstrate a rather good harvesting quality of sugar beet in Germany. Soil moisture at harvest did not affect harvest quality and storage losses. Very light, but also heavier soils lead to inferior harvest quality (soil tare, root tip breakage, damage) and slightly higher storage losses compared to the typical loam soils. Significant differences occurred between the three harvester types (companies). In general, high root tip breakage and severe surface damage of the beet was related to a high infestation with mould and rots, high invert sugar contents after storage and high sugar losses. Out of the five most planted varieties, in particular one turned out to be very susceptible to damage, resulting in high storage losses. The factor analysis suggests that the effect of harvester / harvester setting and of variety is more important for harvest quality and storage losses of sugar beet than soil conditions at harvest. Therefore, attention should be paid to optimize these conditions.
Key words: damage, topping, soil tare, sugar loss, harvester, variety, soil conditions
pdf download: 2018-639-647.pdf