Nordic Beet Research is my employer and is an awesome place to work. At least, I think so. NBRs mandate is to conduct research into sugar beet production on behalf of growers and industry in both Sweden and Denmark. Research spans across the entire on-farm production system – so, recongnising sugar beet is part of a crop rotation – through to the delivery of the harvested crop at the processing factory.
Within the NBR family, there are some 11 employees, 10 board members, a couple of dozen field staff, a few dozen research hosts, 2000 growers and one parent company in industry. There are many research partners at universities and other national institutes as part of the family too.
NBRs researchers are split between Sweden and Denmark. Administration is based in Denmark, but deals with the many systems of both nations.
NBRs strategy is updated on a five year cycle. The current cycle is 2023-2027. The strategy includes three research project themes, five research focus areas, a communication focus, and a stakeholder focus.
Soil care, Beet growth, and Harvest and storage.
Communication is an important part of NBRs work. The most regular channel used is the Betodlaren quarterly publication. Annual meetings are run in summer and winter. Beginning during the infamous “don’t meet up with anyone” 2020, NBR is running a program of practical courses that span the entire production process. The goal is to reach around half the growers. The best part of the course is discussion within the room: NBR and the grower learn a lot from each other. In 2023, the once famous Betans Dag – an autumn field day with a focus on harvest and storage – returned. In 2024, Borgeby fältdagar will hopefully have a large focus on sugar beet. The team holds many other presentations during the year by invitation (mostly in Sweden), and attend as many relevant field days and conferences as possible. Many of the conferences are international and are organised by IIRB.
It is quite well maintained and includes all the publications NBR has put out in the last 10 years or so. These are generally just in the one language, so if you’re looking for something and you think that it might be in one of our three languages that you don’t speak, get in touch and we’ll see how we can help. The search function is quite good.
NBR is also pretty social…
NBR post semi-regular (about one a month) updates about ongoing projects or current issues. These posts will include a lot of photos of sugar beets. They’ll also be in Danish and Swedish, but there is a translate button you can use.
NBR has an account, but it is not overly active, largely as a result of the decline of the network from October 2022. I’m the only staff member with an account. All my NBR related posts, which is most of them, will have the hashtag #NBRf. The chairman of the NBR board, Fredrik Larsson, is also active.