Five new sugar beet varieties have been added to the BBRO/NIAB Recommended List for 2010. All of them have rhizomania tolerance, while two are also tolerant to beet cyst nematode (BCN).

The additions include Rosalinda and BCN-tolerant Annouschka from KWS, Valeska from Nickerson and Cheetah from Elsom.

Rosalinda combines rhizomania tolerance with a nine rating for powdery mildew resistance and the highest RL score for rust resistance. At 109t/ha, it is nearly 2% higher yielding than any other variety.

Sentinel, from Syngenta, is a new BCN-tolerant variety that shows a higher yield potential under non-infected conditions than the other BCN-tolerant varieties on the list.

Simon Kerr, head of field operations, crops and traits at NIAB, says: “There are three BCN-tolerant varieties with a special recommendation for use in BCN-infested conditions only. In tests in Europe, BCN tolerance has been shown to give yield benefits under infested conditions.

“We believe that with tighter rotations, BCN could be an increasing problem in England, so it will be interesting to see how Sentinel performs on infested fields.”