Sugar beet campaign: AGRANA starts its processing season in AustriaDate: 01.10.2021
Yesterday, AGRANA started the 2021 sugar beet processing campaign at its sugar refinery in Tulln (Lower Austria). The plant in Leopoldsdorf in the Marchfeld region (Lower Austria) will commence sugar beet processing on 2nd October. The other AGRANA sugar refineries in Sereď (Slovakia), Opava (Czech Republic) and Roman (Romania) already began processing beet in mid-September and the sites in Hrušovany (Czech Republic) and Kaposvár (Hungary) will be launching their campaigns next week.
This year, 38,600 hectares of sugar beet were planted in Austria. The cold and moist weather conditions in spring were very favourable for sugar beet growing. Since the sowing in April, there have been no notable infestations of the young plants with weevils and hardly any replanting scenarios due to pest damage compared to the last two years.
As a result of the favourable weather conditions during the growing season, with rain in August and sufficient hours of sunshine in September, AGRANA anticipates slightly higher sugar contents than in the prior years and an average harvest. Beet yields this year are expected to be between 78 and 80 metric tons per hectare (prior year: 80 tons per hectare). In the prior year, AGRANA produced around 285,000 metric tons of sugar from 2.1 million metric tons of sugar beet in Austria.
The sugar beet campaign in Austria will last around 120 days and is expected to finish at the end of January.
Less pest-related damage – good growing conditions for 2022
The cool, moist weather in the spring not only led to less pest-related damage but also reduced the number of eggs laid by beet weevils. As a result, the consistent precipitation over the course of the growing period inhibited the formation of larvae. The situation with regard to pest infestation in 2022 is therefore expected to remain favourable.
The contracting meetings with beet growers for the 2022 sugar beet season will be taking place between 5 October and 5 November. AGRANA is again tendering contracts with guaranteed minimum prices and therefore offering terms which make beet growing an attractive option compared to other crops. The growing target needed to ensure both sugar refineries can operate at full capacity remains at least 38,000 hectares of planted sugar beet.
About AGRANA Sugar
AGRANA produces sugar at two sugar refineries in Austria, Tulln and Leopoldsdorf. The Tulln site is home not only to the administration department but also the central sugar warehouse in which all of the sugar varieties produced and packaged under the Wiener Zucker brand are fully automatically stored and picked in a high-bay warehouse with a storage capacity of around 8,000 metric tons of sugar products and then shipped. Sugar shipments from Leopoldsdorf are mainly to the processing industry both as bulk and packaged (Big Bags and 50kg bags).
AGRANA converts agricultural raw materials into high-quality foods and numerous industrial intermediate products. Around 9,000 employees at 55 production sites worldwide generate annual Group revenue of approximately € 2.5 billion. Established in 1988, the company is the world’s market leader in fruit preparations and the leading producer of fruit juice concentrates in Europe. In addition, its Starch segment is also a major manufacturer of custom starch products (made from potato, corn and wheat) and of bioethanol. AGRANA is the leading sugar producer in Central and Eastern Europe.