RHIZOMANIA RESISTANCE and high sugar yields are key features of several new additions to the 2006 Recommended List of Sugar Beet varieties.

The new variety, Mars – from Advanta Seeds – for the first time combines rhizomania resistance with the highest sugar content of all varieties on the list, National Institute of Agricultural Botany announced.

In total eight new varieties have been added to the list, two of which offer both high sugar yields and rhizomania resistance, NIAB said.

“This year is the first time we have been able to recommend a rhizomania-resistant variety that also recorded the highest yield of any variety on the list,” said NIAB‘s sugar beet specialist, Simon Kerr.

Both Mars and Harry (Advanta) feature rhizomania resistance and high sugar contents, while the resistant varieties Bobcat (Advanta) and Miriam (Delitzsch) have “average” sugar contents, NIAB said.

“It has been quite an exceptional year – there have been a lot of good candidates, all of which are higher yielding than those already fully recommended.”

Historically, there has been a trade off between rhizomania resistance and sugar yield, but significant breeding work – particularly on the continent – means resistant varieties now perform well, he said.

“This is certainly good news for growers.”

Other additions to the 2006 list include; Salvador (Danisco UK), Pernilla (Nickersons), Buxom (Syngenta Seeds), and Hi0037 (proposed name: Sprinter – Syngenta).

Dominika and Giovanna have been promoted to the fully recommended category, while Rayo has been withdrawn and Sweet and Dorena removed from the list, NIAB said.