SESVanderhave develops ALS-inhibiting herbicides tolerant sugar beet using its own technology

SESVanderHave, an international market leader in the sugar beet sector, has developed a novel herbicide tolerance trait for sugar beet. This technology has been developed through SESVanderHave’s own R&D pipeline; the trait will give a new option for weed control to farmers around the world. SESVanderHave’s technology is based on the conventional breeding of sugar beet varieties tolerant to certain ALS-inhibitors, a class of broad-spectrum herbicides.

“We have used cutting-edge detection techniques to screen sugar beet cells and plants to identify those which spontaneously contain specific characteristics known to confer tolerance to ALS-inhibitor herbicides”, says Marc Lefèbvre, Project Leader. “After an in-depth characterization of this new trait, we are now breeding it into our commercial germplasm”.

These new herbicide tolerant varieties will give farmers the opportunity to use broad-spectrum active ingredients to simplify weed control in sugar beet, with lower dose rates and fewer applications than with current weed control systems.

SESVanderHave began to collaborate on this project with Bayer CropScience during 2009 and the first varieties will be available to farmers worldwide within a few years.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer farmers in Europe and around the world a new technology that will keep sugar beet cultivation competitive over the long term by offering exceptional weed control and the ability to rotate herbicides”, said Rob van Tetering, Chief Executive Officer at SESVanderHave. He continued, “The technology will provide more effective, easier and more flexible weed control to beet growers, improving the competitiveness of the crop and, as a result, strengthen the whole sugar beet business chain.”

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