Some 1,000 Hectares Of Sugarbeets To Be Destroyed After December Frost

Published online: Jan 13, 2023 News The Brussels Times
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Belgium experienced severe bouts of frost last month around 10 December, which is now making farmers and sugar factories face severe consequences as around 1,000 hectares of sugarbeets need to be destroyed, L'Avenir reported on Wednesday.

The freezing and quick thawing has caused the sugarbeet to rot and, according to the Confederation of Belgian Beet Growers (CBB), around 1,000 hectares (or 10 square kilometres) of rotting sugarbeet must be taken care of.

This concerns fields that have either not yet been lifted or were lifted just before the frost but whose beets had no time to dry.

An Unprecedented Crisis

"It is an unprecedented crisis," said Bruno De Wulf, general secretary of the CBB. The question was raised on how to compensate the producers who will suffer such a loss, as it was "nobody's fault."

"Mutual solidarity between planters may have to come into play," said De Wulf.

The CBB also plans to ask the sugar factories to participate in this solidarity. "If we are left with sugarbeets that have not been harvested, it is because the sugar factories have extended the harvest campaigns," explained the general secretary.