24 July 2002

Success for sugar beet

SUGAR beet yields have risen 60% and fertiliser use has halved in the 40 years that Brooms Barn research institute in Suffolk has been helping the industry, according to deputy director Mike Asher.

"Chemical use continues to decline and become more targeted with benefits to the environment – an example of what can be achieved through the close cooperation between ourselves and the chemical industry."

However, better resistance to virus yellows, rhizomania, drought and bolting remain key challenges, says Dr Asher. &#42