KWS

Storage

There are currently three main methods that are advocated for the storage of KWS Feedbeet and Energybeet

  • Clamped as fresh beet
  • Ensiled whole beet
  • Mixed ensiled – e.g. with maize, pressed beet pulp or citrus pulp

Clamped as fresh beet
Clamp siting, design and construction are important to ensure beet can be stored as long as possible without any deterioration. The key objectives are to prevent losses when the clamp overheats or is affected by extreme cold weather.

Clamps should fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be in the open – allowing better air flow and ventilation
  • Constructed of straw bales placed on pallets
  • This will allow insulation but also free flow of air through the pallets to the base of the clamp. The pallets should be blocked when temperature of -3C or below are forecast
  • On a firm site which eases loading and unloading
  • Sited and shaped to allow easy access for grabs and mixer wagons
  • No more than 2.5m high to prevent beet from overheating
  • Level, so that no frost pockets can form
  • Covered with a protective sheet when weather is forecast for -3C and below – e.g. polyfelt – to keep in warmth and allow the clamp to breathe
Beet will store for 2-4 months by following these guidelines.

Ensiled Whole Beet
Ensiling whole beet on its own is a relatively new concept developed by the biogas sector and will enable beet to be kept so that it can be utilised throughout the year while maintaining perfect quality of the beet. Ensiling beet with another feedstuff, as outlined in the next section, is relatively common however ensiling beet on its own is extremely effective in that it perfectly preserves the beet and is low cost.
Whole beet soon compacts under its own weight to create anaerobic conditions. As a result it doesn’t need manual compaction with tractors. Recommended practice is to:
  1. Bring the beet in to the clamp from the field or temporary storage nearby
  2. Wash the beet prior to clamping if deemed necessary
  3. Use an elevator or front-end loader to fill the clamp
  4. Cover the clamp with 1 or 2 layers of plastic and an outer covering to prevent birds and pests tearing through the plastic.

In the clamp, the beet will respire any existing oxygen creating carbon dioxide and anaerobic conditions. The beet will compact to half of the original height and reach a steady ensiled state after 14-21 days when it will then be ready to be used as a feed. Beet juice will need to be captured. This liquid has a very high feed value whilst taking into account the low pH of 3.5 with 15% DM and can be fed to livestock whilst being aware of the low pH of 3.5. Ensiled beet has a high aerobic stability once the clamp is opened of approximately 30 days.

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Mixed Feedstock Ensiling
Most common practice is to ensile chopped beet with maize silage but sometimes pressed sugar beet pulp, or citrus pulp, all of which have a higher DM% than energy beet and will absorb any beet effluent.
Co-ensiling with maize
Most common practice is to ensile chopped beet with maize silage but sometimes pressed sugar beet pulp, or citrus pulp, all of which have a higher DM% than energy beet and will absorb any beet effluent.

This ensures:

  • A higher energy concentration in the feed
  • An increased forage DM intake
  • A reduced need for bought in concentrates and cereals
  • Reduced handling and chopping needs
While co-ensiling of different feedstocks works well, it is not always easy to co-ordinate the harvest of two separate crops and usually means that beet is harvested earlier than normal before it reaches peak yields.
UK_2016_mixessilage_pic2 UK_2016_mixessilage_pic3

Subjects Improved beet agronomics

Growing

Seedbeds need to be well prepared, ensure sufficient seed to soil contact and good moisture conservation for fast germination and emergence.

EPD

All Feedbeet varieties come with a KWS proprietary seed treatment called Early Plant Development (EPD).

Soil tare

The KWS breeding programme continuously aims to reduce the level of soil harvested with its high DM Feedbeet varieties.

Harvest

To maximise DM yield, beet is best harvested from mid-to-late November. This is when root weight has peaked and dry matter yield will be highest.

Storage

There are currently three main methods that are advocated for the storage of KWS Feedbeet and Energybeet ...


KWS