If you’ve recently driven through the countryside, you may have noticed piles of freshly harvested sugar beet. The European Union is the world’s largest sugar beet producer, accounting for about 50% of global production and with an impressive average yield of 70 tonnes per hectare .
Sugar beet is a zero-waste hero. Nothing is wasted, the leaves act as a natural fertilizer, the extracted sugar becomes a valuable ingredient in various industries like food, drink, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. The pulp is used for animal feed, and other byproducts such as molasses are used for baking and in beverages .
Europe relies on sugar beet to maintain its strategic autonomy in sugar production. To cope with the impact of changing climates and ensure continued high yields and quality, sugar beet farmers need access to innovative tools, including improved varieties and efficient crop protection measures .