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Wattie’s Starts Precision - Planting This Season’s Beetroot

Wattie’s Starts Precision - Planting This Season’s Beetroot

- Day One of 20 weeks of planting

- Resurgence of consumer interest in beetroot

Wattie’s has started precision-planting this season’s beetroot crop, and will continue over the next 20 weeks until a total of 350 hectares have been planted.

The first seed has been planted in the Paki Paki area of Hawke’s Bay for what will be a 20,000 tonne crop, Wattie’s second biggest annual crop behind tomatoes.

Harvesting of the first baby beets is scheduled for the second week in December.

Wattie’s Crop Supply Agronomist Tim Agnew says that after big steps up in beetroot production in the previous two seasons, there was much more confidence about what to expect.

“We will see the plants from the seeds we are planting today break ground in about 14 days, but as the weather warms up the beets will appear more quickly.  By November they will come through the ground in half the time.

“Like tomatoes we plant to a programme that matches harvesting and production several months down the track.”

For Wattie’s, beetroot is one of three rotation crops, with the others being tomatoes and corn. No crop is put in the same paddock two years running.

Resurgence of interest in beetroot among consumers

Marketing Manager Simon Crampton says beetroot is a vegetable which has been growing in popularity.

“It’s a vegetable Wattie’s has grown since our earliest days, but in recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in beetroot. 

“With this year’s unseasonably warm winter sales volumes were up 14% on last year.”

ENDS

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