RHIZOMANIA HAS been confirmed in two fields at Rothamsted‘s Broom‘s Barn research station.

Suspect beet from two small areas were identified last week (w/e Sept 24) and tests have now confirmed the presence of rhizomania.

This is the first outbreak of the disease at Broom‘s Barn, but will not affect current or future field experiments, said rhizomania specialist Mike Asher.

“With all the contact we have with outside trials, we are not particularly surprised. This year has been quite conducive to the disease.

“They are very small patches affected, mainly outside the trials area,” he said.

Several different varieties have been infected, but none of them are resistant types, Mr Asher noted.

Anyone who has come into contact with the infected site has been notified and set procedures for staff and equipment that go onto other farms are in place, he added.

“We have had another look at these procedures and are taking every possible precaution.”

Future trials at Broom‘s Barn will be conducted with rhizomania resistant varieties, he concluded.