2016 BBRO sugar beet list shows continued upward yield trend

The ten new varieties added to the 2016 Recommended (RL) and Descriptive (DL) Lists show the continued upward yield trend of new varieties being put forward by the breeders.

Six new varieties have been added to the RL, three are from KWS UK Ltd; Sabatina KWS, Salamanca KWS and Tasmania KWS; and three from Limagrain UK Ltd; BTS 340, BTS 470 and BTS 515. The DL has four new Beet Cyst Nematode (BCN) tolerant varieties for 2016: Leesha KWS and Tabatha KWS from KWS UK Ltd; BTS 755 from Limagrain UK Ltd and Aurora from SESVanderHave UK Ltd.

“Whilst the weather is an important determinant of final commercial sugar beet yields each year, these results show that breeders are playing a major role and continue to produce varieties with ever higher yield potential,” says Mike May, Chairman of the RL Board. “The yield of the control varieties in 2014 trials was 111 adjusted tonnes / ha and we saw the newer varieties achieving up to a 5% increase over that.”

The four new BCN tolerant varieties added to the DL – Leesha KWS and Tabatha KWS from KWS UK Ltd; BTS 755 from Limagrain UK Ltd and Aurora from SESVanderHave UK Ltd – also show good yield improvements. “The yield results are in the absence of BCN and, whilst yields are as good as some of the varieties on the RL, the varieties on the DL should only be used for the particular trait they are listed,” advises Mike.

The average plant population harvested was 105,000 plants/ha in the RL and 107,000 /ha in the DL. The recorded bolters for normal sowing (generally from mid March) are low with no statistical difference between the varieties. The early sown bolter figures should be used by growers intending to sow in early March or if very cold conditions are expected. In these situations Haydn, Pasteur, Stingray and Cayman have a lower bolting risk.

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