Sugar beet growers looking for rhizomania resistance and high yields have another variety option next season, following the launch of Zanzibar from Elsoms Seeds.

The variety, which is the only newly recommended rhizo-resistant type for 2007, yielded similarly to the firm’s Mars and Bobcat and was suited to early lifting, said Elsoms’ Tony Guthrie.

It also had low levels of early and late-season bolters and good establishment at 87%, he noted.

“Like all rhizomania resistant varieties, it is weak against mildew and rust, but most growers should be using a fungicide anyway, so it’s not necessarily a problem.”

Reduced groove cuts tares

Another new variety on the recommended list is Hilleshog’s Opta, which offers reduced dirt and crown tares due to its fuller root shape, according to sales and marketing manager, Richard Powell.

“The ‘Galvin groove’ has nearly been bred out and dirt tares are typically down by 35%, while crown tares are down around 40%.”

paul.spackman@rbi.co.uk