Danisco offers quick information to growers in Denmark and Sweden

During the current campaign, sugar beet growers in Denmark and Sweden have access to online information on www.sukkerroer.nu where a password enables them to log on to find data on the sugar beets they have supplied. (In Sweden the website is www.sockerbetor.nu)

´By providing access to such data much more quickly, thereby enabling them to make operational changes, we strengthen relations with individual sugar beet growers. It used to take up to ten days before they received their supply data by post. Now, that data is available on the Internet within 48 hours in Denmark and within four days in Sweden,´ observes Claus Christensen, Project Development Manager at Danisco Sugar Agricenter in Copenhagen.

´If growers can see that their sugar percentage is unsatisfactory, they may consider harvesting beets in a different field for the next delivery. We also expect it to have a beneficial effect on the degree of purity if growers are immediately informed that they are supplying sugar beets with much soil clinging to the beet´, says Mr Christensen.

In the long term, we intend to supplement individual growers´ supply data with information on averages in the regions where they live. Thus, growers can compare their performance with that of the average grower. Hopefully, this will also contribute to optimising the quality and supply of sugar beets.

Many web visitors

There are about 11,000 sugar beet growers in Denmark and Sweden. There are no exact figures indicating how many of those have Internet access, but 18 months ago it was about 60 per cent, and that number has likely risen since.

´After the introduction of online supply data, we have the same number of visits to the Danish and Swedish websites, but as there are about 30 per cent more Danish than Swedish growers, we must conclude that Swedish farmers use the Internet more often than their Danish counterparts,´ says Mr Christensen.

According to Bjørn Windfäll and Finn Sørensen, who are in charge of the Swedish and Danish websites, after the first part of the sugar beet campaign the feedback from growers on the new service has been very positive.

´Growers have shown great interest in online access to supply data. In October alone, the Danish and Swedish websites had 18,000 visitors. Normally, the majority of visits are concentrated around the time of sowing and weed control. For example, the Swedish site had 3,500 visitors in April. This should be noted in light of the fact that there are 4,500 growers in Sweden. We plan to continue developing our communication with sugar beet growers via the Internet,´ concludes Mr Christensen.