Fodder beets have a high production capacity and are a tasty, high-quality roughage. Fodder beets are also the cheapest roughage in VEM per hectare and provide better mineral utilization on the dairy farm. The high energy content makes them extremely suitable for highly productive dairy cattle. A ration with fodder beets can limit the amount of concentrates required.
Enough options are currently available to considerably reduce the labor requirement in the spring, during harvest and during feeding. Including fodder beets in the crop rotation also breaks the maize monoculture.
Despite these characteristics, after the year 2000 the acreage cultivated with fodder beet dropped sharply, partly due to the increased incidence of Rhizoctonia solani. In 2008 and 2009, the acreage of fodder beet in Flanders increased again due to the uncertainty about the availability of sugar beet pulp, and because the Belgian variety catalog includes a variety with good Rhizoctonia tolerance.
Since 2015, the acreage has increased significantly because fodder beets are a very good fit as a third crop on the livestock farm under the new CAP. In 2021, the Belgian fodder beet acreage amounted to approximately 4,174 ha.