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Researchers unearth a 16.6kg monster as quest for Norfolk’s biggest sugar beet continues

PUBLISHED: 10:51 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 22 December 2017

BBRO trials officer Lee Oxborough with a 16.6kg sugar beet lifted from a field near the east Norfolk coast. Picture: BBRO

BBRO trials officer Lee Oxborough with a 16.6kg sugar beet lifted from a field near the east Norfolk coast. Picture: BBRO

Archant

The bar has been raised in the quest to find Norfolk’s biggest sugar beet – after a 16.6kg monster was lifted from a research trial near the coast.

A huge 16.6kg sugar beet was lifted from a BBRO trials field near the east Norfolk coast.Picture: BBROA huge 16.6kg sugar beet was lifted from a BBRO trials field near the east Norfolk coast.Picture: BBRO

In November, Norfolk farmer Martin Fisher thought he had claimed the accolade with a 15kg beet harvested from Rookery Farm in Thurning, between Holt and Reepham. Following a season of near-perfect growing conditions, it was the largest he had encountered in 40 years of growing the crop.

But his effort has been trumped by a gargantuan specimen grown at a trials site on the east Norfolk coast, overseen by the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO).

Ches Broom, a research administrator and knowledge exchange coordinator at the Norwich-based BBRO, said the beet had more room to grow as the seed fell in the gap between two plots of different varieties which were being grown in reference trials to compare their germination and establishment.

“It’s definitely the biggest we have ever seen,” she said. “Normally the seed is planted at regular spacings to get an even distribution of light, water and nutrients. This makes harvesting easier, as no one would want to try to lift this monster through a conventional harvester and I don’t think the factory would appreciate it either.”

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