Sugar beet variety shows 5%-plus yield advantage in new list

One new sugar beet variety with a yield more than 5% above all others was the highlight of the 2021 Recommended List from the seven new varietal entrants that will be available for growers next spring.

Variety BTS1915 from Limagrain comes with an adjusted tonnage yield of 108.1% of the control varieties, way ahead of the next highest yielder – another new entrant, Evalotta, on 103%.

Despite a difficult beet harvest, Mike May, chairman of the British Beet Research Organisation’s Recommended List, says yields of the control varieties were up 6t/ha on last season, reflecting higher yields nationally.

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“It was good to see that the control varieties achieved a mean yield of 118 adjusted tonnes per hectare, with new varieties offering up to a greater than 8% yield increase above the controls,” he says.

New entrants 

Among the other six new entrants, Lacewing from SESVanderHave is a new beet cyst nematode-resistant variety, Rivetta from KWS is the second Smart Conviso variety on the list that is tolerant to some herbicides, while the four others were all from KWS, namely Evalotta, Catriona, Eldorana and Sancha.

New sugar beet varieties on the 2021 BBRO Recommended List

Variety

Adjusted tonnes

Sugar content

BTS1915

108.1

17.7

Evalotta

103.0

17.8

Catriona

100.7

17.7

Eldorana

100.6

18.0

Sancha

100.4

17.9

Rivetta

92.5

17.6

Lacewing

100.4

18.0

Note: Adjusted yield figures are a % of control varieties

The top-yielding BTS1915 was bred by Betaseed and will be marketed by Limagrain.

It has seen consistently high yields over the past three years, with a very acceptable sugar content of 17.7%, says Ron Granger, sugar beet product manager for Limagrain.

“We normally expect to see year-on year advances of 1-2% in yields – so BTS1915 is something quite special – and this is at a time when many other arable crop yields have plateaued,” he adds.

When the variety is sown from mid-March onwards, it has shown an excellent bolting tolerance, but sown early, the variety might show excessive bolting as Recommended List trials have demonstrated.

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