New Terralife seed mix reduces nematodes in sugar

A new seed mix designed to reduce nematode populations in sugar beet and potato rotations has been introduced by DSV UK Ltd.

BetaSola joins the company’s range of TerraLife soil conditioning mixes developed to improve soil structure, nutrient content and soil fertility.

Typically sown at the end of August, BetaSola contains three varieties of nematode-resistant oil radishes that disrupt the nematodes’ breeding cycle, explains DSV’s Emma Bedford.

“The nematodes bury into the roots of the plants to lay eggs but hardly any resulting cysts form so few new pests hatch and populations rapidly decline.

“The longer the period the plants are growing the greater the effect so the three varieties in the mixture are chosen to have different growth patterns to allow the rooting time, and therefore the duration of the control, to be as long as possible.”

The particular varieties have been shown to work against beet nematode (Heterodera schachtii), and Trichoduras nematodes whilst the inclusion of bristle oat in the mix also reduces moving root nematodes.

BetaSola also contains Egyptian clover, niger and common vetch to condition soil through extensive root penetration at a range of levels within the soil profile.

Developed in Germany, where more cultural methods for soil conditioning, nutrition and pest control have been used for several years, the TerraLife range has significant advantages over conventional single variety cover crops, says DSV’s Mike Mann.

“The range is made up of eight individual mixes featuring up to ten different varieties of complimentary species in each.

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