New varieties for the 2018 sugar beet Recommended List Managed by BBRO (British Beet Research Organisation) and BSPB (British Society of Plant Breeders), six new sugar beet varieties made it through to the 2018 RL, announced in early May. Six new varieties have been added to the 2018 RL.
According to the RL Board, new varieties have to get through stringent field trials to be accepted on the Recommended List, and they have to be significantly better performing not just for yield but also for resilience to disease and bolting risk. RL Board chairman, Mike May, explains that the selection process is tough: “To earn a place on the Recommended List the new varieties have to perform well over three years of field trials. “We are testing the genetics
which means the conditions need to be as uniform as possible across the plots for both the newcomers and the controls. The sites are on farms run by some of our best growers so we can see how the varieties perform under field conditions.” BBRO Knowledge Exchange and Crop Progression Lead, Dr Simon Bowen, is particularly interested in how the varieties perform in bolter trials. A cold period will bring on vernalisation (the production of flowers) which is undesirable, as the plant will produce seed instead of building sugar in the root. “A long growing season will improve the yield and sugar
concentration, but an early sowing increases the risk of bolting,” explains Dr Bowen. “The trials include a comparison between Early Sown Bolting (ESB) and Normal Sown Bolting (NSB) to see how a variety performs under severe conditions. The results mean that growers will be able to make an informed decision about the risk of bolting.” Disease resistance is also important commented BBRO Scientific & Crop Stability Lead Dr Mark Stevens (left). “Disease resistance to rust and powdery mildew is given a score based on percentage leaf infection. We have recently started conducting powdery mildew trials under controlled conditions to provide a reliable assessment of the plant’s resistance regardless of the disease risk for that season.”
New varieties Varieties are judged on percentage yield above the best three controls, bolting risk, tolerance to disease (where 9 is the highest resistance) and establishment before gapping to 18 cm.
There are six new PR1 varieties for 2018: Daphna, Senada KWS, Landon, BTS 3325, Degas and Bloodhound. Daphna – adjusted yield 106.9 per cent, suitable for early sowing, tolerant to BCN. Senada KWS – yield performance is 105.6 per cent, lower pre-gap establishment so a higher seed rate may be required. Landon – has an adjusted yield performance of 104.7 per cent. This variety scored 7 for rust and 4 for powdery mildew. BTS 3325 – scored 103.0 per cent adjusted yield, good pregap establishment, no problem with bolting. Scored 7 for rust and 5 for powdery mildew. Degas – 102.0 per cent for adjusted yield, chance of bolting, slightly weaker on disease. Bloodhound – entered with 100.8 per cent for adjusted yield, good on bolting and establishment. It has a disease score for rust of 4, and 3 for powdery mildew. *The full Recommended List can be found at: www.bbro.co.uk/ varieties/recommended-list-2018. ■
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12 www.farmersguide.co.uk June 2017
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Farmers Guide Magazine June 2017 Issue