Sugar beet growers are facing 'near-drought conditions' due to the extreme weather conditions, British Sugar has warned.
The processor said this year's sugar beet crop in the UK is facing 'several challenges', including the dry weather and the number of aphids.
It comes after one of the wettest harvests in memory, which led to the longest ever sugar beet campaign in Europe.
But this year's drilling of the crop was a 'little later than normal' and germination had been 'challenging' in some fields with the lack of rainfall, it said.
British Sugar's agriculture director, Peter Watson said sugar beet growers were facing issues this year due to 'near-drought conditions'.
He said the emerging plant populations had been 'mixed' – with some 'very poor': “We’ve also seen unprecedented numbers of aphids on the crop, increasing the disease threat.
“Although the sugar beet crop has good powers of recovery and recent rainfall is welcome, this would need to persist for some time.
"We would therefore predict a reduction in crop harvested compared to last year,” Mr Watson explained.
British Sugar is the sole processor of the UK’s sugar beet crop and supplies around 50 percent of the UK’s demand for sugar.
The company operates four advanced manufacturing plants across East Anglia and the East Midlands.
The 2019/20 sugar beet campaign finished in mid-April, when British Sugar’s Newark factory closed its gates for beet intake after 208 days – the longest known uninterrupted European sugar beet campaign.