Eight new varieties added to 2017 sugar beet lists

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The eight new varieties added to the 2017 Recommended (RL) and Descriptive (DL) List reflect the continued trend for higher yield in candidate varieties being put forward by breeders.

Five new varieties have been added to the RL; two from KWS, Darnella KWS and Alisha KWS; two from Limagrain, BTS 260 and BTS 860 (bred by Betaseeds); and one from SESVanderHave, Firefly.

“It is good to see the yield improvement that we have seen over the years is still continuing, with the established control varieties producing 113 adjusted t/ha in trials and the best new ones up to 5% more than those,” commented Mike May, Chairman of the RL Board.

The three new BCN tolerant varieties added to the DL come from three different companies; Cantona KWS from KWS, Davy from Strube and Flixter from Syngenta. “The yield results on the DL are in the absence of BCN and show that the best varieties are now virtually on a par with the RL varieties. However, before selecting these, growers should discuss options with the BBRO and breeders who will have more information on their performance in the presence of the pest,” advises Mike.

The average plant population harvested was 104,000/ha and average sugar content 18.1%. The numbers of early-sown bolters are from trials sown in late February and the first five days of March. Growers should use these latter figures for guidance if sowing early, or if very cold conditions are expected. Those varieties indicated by a # in the tables are not recommended for early sowing. Whilst the number of bolters recorded from normal sowings (usually from mid to late March) appear to vary between varieties, there is no statistical difference between them.

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