Thursday, November 14, 2019

Untreated yield trial results available for sugar beet

September 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

Sugar beet growers can now see disease results from two untreated yield trials of varieties evaluated for the 2018 Recommended List.

Results of varieties untreated with foliar fungicides were published by the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) earlier this summer. It comes in time for growers making cropping decisions for the 2019/20 campaign – although with a number of caveats.

The BBRO said: “This trial data has been published to allow growers to see the 2018 disease results from the RL series of trials that were not treated with foliar fungicides. This work is in its first year and must be treated with caution.”

The table of results shows data from two replicated 2018 trials untreated with foliar fungicides where foliar diseases were assessed and the crop taken to yield to show the varietal performance under the natural cocktail of diseases.

Rust and powdery mildew were the main diseases – but others were present at low levels in some plots. Among other caveats, the BBRO said it should be borne in mind that each season is different with perhaps 2018 more so than most.

“Foliar diseases generally developed later than normal and on crops which had been through a period of considerable drought stress, which may or may not have influenced their susceptibility to diseases,” said the BBRO.

The BBRO said the results should be treated with reserve as they applied only to 2018 – the year in which the trials were grown.

Ses Vanderhave UK managing director Ian Munnery described  the release of the untreated yield data as a big step forward. Growers were in a very different world from three years ago – living with absence of neonic, thiram and an increasing threat from leaf diseases.

Mr Munnery said: “While there is indeed variability in conditions every year, that’s nature. Ideally this data is combined in to a three-year data set, but time is a luxury we can ill afford given the urgency of protecting the crop and gross margins.”

Leaf diseases were growing in importance and would also amplify any virus yellow infections. Growers should read the latest data carefully and consider how they should adapt their variety choice, spray programme and costs to mitigate their future risks.

“This is why Ses Vanderhave UK has been investing in extensive breeding trials in the UK to select genetics like Vixen and Lightning to perform under a range of pressures – both biotic and abiotic. Robustness is a key target for breeders.”

To see the results, visit www.bit.ly/BBRO-data

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