On Friday 25 May, all the sugar-industry players were gathered around the 10 finalists of the contest, in the lush premises of the Pré Catelan, nestled in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne.
In his welcome speech, Eric Verjux, CIO of Deleplanque & Cie, said a few words on the acquisition of the German group Strube, which took place in April 2018. He then introduced “The Year of Sowing”, main theme on the website Deleplanque Préférence since October 2017.
A successful synergy among sugar beet experts
For the implementation of “The year of Sowing”, Deleplanque has called upon 2 partners: Monosem, the French leader of the sugar beet seeder, and Precifield, start-up specialized in the mapping of agricultural parcels. The 3 of them are 100% focused on sowing, which is crucial for the success of the sugar beet culture.
The year of sowing: 4 key points in 4 steps
- Genetics: the seeds and the quiz, as 1 first step
- Equipment: the seeder and the seeder survey, as a second step
- Know-how: sowing and the full-scale sowing test, as a third step
- Experience: sharing and the “Sugar beet Grower of the Year” contest, as a fourth step
Good genetics, of course, but with the right seeder, well maintained and well adjusted
Florian Crochet, responsible for sales promotion and customer training at Monosem, summarized the results of the seeder survey, which was carried out online on the platform www.deleplanque-preference.fr in November 2018.
The 197 files registered throughout all the sugar beet regions give a representative picture of the equipment, the maintenance and the adjustment of the seeders among the growers.
This seeder survey underlines that for us:
- 60% of the growers maintain their seeder in the wintertime, 16% just before sowing and 25% right after sowing
- Among the criteria for a successful establishment of the culture, the seeding depth regularity comes first for most of the growers, before seed pressing and embedment and respect of seed spacing.
- 32% of the sugar beet growers rely only on the setting chart of the seeder to control the sowing rate, while 22% measure the space between two grains.
The best methods consist in measuring the distance between 11 grains and along 20m00 or 22m22, depending on row spacing. They are implemented by respectively 29% and 17% of the growers.
Adapting the sowing rate, by combining cartography and seeder equipped with the most advanced technology
All the people involved in the full-scale sowing test were present at the award ceremony: the 2 winning growers, Vincent Gobillard and Vincent Marcille – Monosem, which provided the seeder Meca V4 – The French Technical Institute for Sugar beet (ITB) – and Precifield, which took in charge the cartography of the land parcels chosen for the full-scale test. Alexandre Weil, Manager of Precifield, presented the process to the audience, from the measures on the field to the data transmission into the seeder dashboard. Sowing rate was adapted to the yield potential of each field determined by the mapping. The monitoring of these tests will be ensured through regular reports by the ITB. To be followed in our next newsletters!
Contest « The grower of the year »: the sharing of experience
François-Xavier Duquenne, Managing editor of the newspaper Le Betteravier français, gives the floor over to the finalists. 3 roundtables were organized.
More than 30% of the yield is directly related to the quality of sowing and field establishment, according to most of the finalists. As we can see, this topic was chosen for a good reason and we will explore it further and outline the best ways to achieve a successful sowing.
9 out of 10 finalists presented their best practices and experiences regarding seed drill, seed bed preparation and the sowing of the future.
Today’s practices, tomorrow’s prospects and dreams for the future
American drill, seed rate modulation, low- or zero-till practices, custom-made catch crop blends, reduced tillage, direct or under plastic seeding, staggered sowing, modulation of the drilling depth, winter sugar beet, scheduled “birth” of the sugar beet seed, plant protection ensured by drones and robots… Those are in brief the topics raised by the finalists which have generated constructive dialogue with the attending industrial players. Obviously, sowing is still a staging ground for future challenges!
And now the Awards Ceremony! Who are the winners of the year?
Mr. Alexis Demory received the 2018 special jury prize from Vincent Laudinat, Managing Director of ITB. Alexis Demory manages a mixed cropping/breeding farm located in Oise department, where he grows 100 ha of sugar beet. He would like to move on to zero-till and has scheduled a seeding test under plastic. As a gift, Alexis will enjoy a stay for 2 people in a Relais & Châteaux.
Frédérique Carton, Publication Manager of the newspaper Le Betteravier français, had the great pleasure to present Pierre Courtier with the diploma “Grower of the year”. Pierre Courtier settled recently in Seine-et-Marne department and has specialized in catch and cover crops. He creates his own blends according to the characteristics of each species, tests them and considers them as a full crop. He will enjoy a stay for 2 people in the Sources de Caudalie, a 5-star hotel amidst the Grand cru vineyards of Château Smith.
Our congratulations go to the winners, and our thanks to the jury members, to our partners and all the candidates of the competition.
Special thanks to our cartoonist Thibault, whose impromptu drawings added little touches of humor all along the morning.
Videos were shot in the context of the “Year of sowing” and will be offered to you in our next newsletters.