BTS 1915 tops the 2021 BBRO Recommended List with a huge step-up in yields

Yielding a massive 5% more than any other variety on the 2021 BBRO Recommended List, BTS 1915 leads the pack,  with an adjusted tonne yield of 108.1% and a high sugar content of 17.7%.

Bred by Betaseed and marketed by Limagrain UK, BTS 1915 leads the Recommended List by a considerable amount – 5% over any other variety – and this is exceptional. Next on the list is KWS Evalotta yielding 103%, followed by last year’s list topper KWS Kortessa at 101.9%, so it’s clear to see the exceptional yield increase brought by BTS 1915,” explains Ron Granger, sugar beet product manager for Limagrain.

“We normally expect to see year on year yield advances of 1-2% in yields – so BTS 1915 is something quite special – and this is at a time when many other arable crop yields have plateaued.”

“Nor is it a one-year wonder performance” he adds. “These extremely high yields have been consistent over the last three years that the variety has been in trials – so we are confident in the variety’s ability to perform in different seasons and situations.”

“We are also in the fortunate position where sugar beet breeders are still able to push yields without compromising the sugar content – and this is reflected in BTS1915 with its very acceptable sugar percentage of 17.7.”

Nor is it all about the yields, he continues. “BTS 1915 has excellent agronomic characteristics that make it a very useful variety on-farm. We recognise that varieties also need to establish well, have good bolting tolerance and robust disease resistances to succeed.”

“However when BTS 1915 is sown in the normal sowing window from mid-March onwards, it has shown an excellent bolting tolerance, recording no bolters. This result has been consistent over the last three years, including data from 2019, which we know was a high year for bolting.”

“However, it should be recognised that when BTS 1915 is sown early, the variety might show excessive bolting as the Early Sown Bolter trials, conducted as part of the Recommended List trial series demonstrate. “

“The variety has the highest brown rust disease resistance rating on the Recommended List of 8.7 , thus making it the first choice for late lifting where brown rust is potentially the key disease to control.”

BTS 1915 provides an opportunity for growers who want to take the next step-up in yields as in doing so they are raising the bar in sugar beet production even higher – making themselves more resilient against the rising costs of producing a sugar beet crop.

According to figures from the John Nix Pocketbook for Farm Management 2019 edition, the additional benefits of this 5% yield are significant in terms of profitability, irrespective of the crop being low, average or high yielding.

Increasing the yield by 5% on a crop yielding 66.5t/ha by 3.325t/ha brings a financial benefit of £67/ha. For a crop yielding 78t/ha, a 5% increase in yield of3.9t/ha is worth £79.80/ha and on a crop yielding 89.5t/ha an extra 5% benefit in yield of 4.475t/ha is worth £91.51/ha. This is based on a 2020 beet price, on a three-year contract at £20.45/t with no crown tare reduction.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.