Martin Lishman tackles sugar loses with BeetLog
Helping growers to lift sugar beet more gently can reduce the amount of bruising by 50%, according to international processing co-operative Tereos. Their belief is that maintaining harvest quality helps reduce sugar losses which improves the competitiveness of growers and producers alike in a new post-quota sugar beet world.
Building on over 25 years’ experience of reducing damage losses in the potato industry, Martin Lishman has used the technology developed for their successful TuberLog electronic potato to create the BeetLog electronic sugar beet. Working on behalf of Tereos, the company has created a device which mimics the size, shape and density of an average sugar beet. It is robust and strong enough to be placed in the ground and harvested along with real sugar beet and then follow the same route through the machine to the collecting vehicle.
The frequency and intensity of the shocks received by the BeetLog are detected instantly by the operator using Bluetooth technology linked to an Android tablet or smartphone. By watching its passage through the machinery, the operator can immediately locate sources of impact. Machine adjustments can then be made on the spot to reduce bruising and damaging impacts, and thus preserve the quality of the harvest.
Impacts received by BeetLog are all recorded in the device and can be downloaded to a PC or laptop for further analysis using the software supplied. Timestamps and repeat measurement functions allow easy identification and examination of the damage source at a later date.
As Stéphane Decouvelaere, New Agricultural Technology representative at Tereos, explains, “Thanks to 15 years of research into preserving the quality of the sugar beet harvest, we know that there is an ideal setting for the harvester that reduces by 50% the percentage of sugar beet bruising, compared to a standard setting. By using the BeetLog, we can refine even more the lifting advice given to growers. The goal is to create an educational tool to continually support growers in their quest to reduce sugar losses and ultimately improve their income from the crop.”