Sugar beet yields in France hurt by black leaf spot disease

October 13, 2018 |

In France, sugar beets are taking a hit due to stronger than usual black leaf spot disease that is hurting sugar beet yields and could further lower forecast estimates for the 2018-2019 production year. Europe’s sugar beet production forecast was already lowered by around 2 million metric tons (about 2.2 tons) after the summer’s hot and dry weather led to poor yields. The new estimate is 40.4 million metric tons (about 44.5 million tons), which is 13% lower than the amount produced last year.

According to French agricultural newspaper Le Betteravier, French research institute ITB’s president Alexandre Quillet said that it is “everywhere, even in Normandy. Cool and humid weather conditions in the morning and then hot in the afternoon” are ideal conditions to encourage the disease. Black leaf spot disease doesn’t actually kill the sugar beet plants but reduces its yield. France has been having warmer temperatures and dryer weather than usual which affects it as well.

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