Fodder beet rotting after big freeze

CONCERN is mounting that fodder beet left in the ground during the recent cold spell could be rotting.

CONCERN is mounting that fodder beet left in the ground during the recent cold spell could be rotting.

Individual farmers have found that the crop has been damaged following the extremely cold Christmas night when temperatures in Kilkenny plummeted to -12 Centigrade. A large number of farmers could be affected. Fodder beet is used to feed animals during the winter because it is the highest yielding forage crop you can grow at this time of year.

When the ground freezes, the water in the root expands and bursts cell walls giving rise to soft beet once temperatures increase, allowing in bacteria and fungi to gain entry rapidly. Teagasc has said that most of the fodder beet has been harvested but confirmed that it had received a number of calls yesterday (Monday) from growers. If you are concerned worried ring the Teagasc offices in Kilkenny or Mullinavat.