Sugar Beet
10th October 2019

Sugar Beet varieties to fit a range of situations

Ron Granger, Arable Technical Manager gets the growers’ perspective on the on-farm performance of the latest sugar beet varieties…

Bolting resistance is key for sugar beet grower, Andy Cooper of North Norfolk and last campaign he turned to Betaseed’s BTS 3325, for early drilling.

Managing 730ha of tenanted land on the Sandringham Estate, north east of Kings Lynn, Mr Cooper typically grows three varieties across his 160ha beet area in early, mid and late-drilled slots. Strube variety, Haydn has taken the early slot into the farm’s sandy loams over chalk in recent seasons, with the variety having the lowest bolter numbers on the BBRO Recommended List when sown on or before 5th March.

However, Mr Cooper replaced Haydn with BTS 3325 for the 2018-19 campaign as it offered suitability for early drilling, plus higher yield and improved disease resistance. In 2018, the farm received half of its annual rainfall between January and March, so drilling was delayed until April and its bolting resistance was not tested, after conditions quickly turned hot and dry post-drilling.

Andy Cooper, Norfolk Farmer

However, Mr Cooper was pleased with the performance of the variety in its first year, despite the delayed establishment, giving an adjusted yield of 80t/ha from a late-November lift.

High-yielding sugar beet variety finds favour in Lincs

Lincolnshire sugar beet grower, Charles Roe has opted for variety BTS 1140 this year, lured by the potential for 7% higher yield over two of last year’s picks. Overseeing 243ha near Horncastle with his father, John, Mr Roe has grown sugar beet for many years on the farm’s mostly sandy clay loams but took a break for a decade, due to increasing levels of weed beet.

Charles Roe, Lincolnshire Farmer

The crop returned to the rotation for the 2018-19 campaign and he opted to split his 30ha area between three varieties; Betaseed’s BTS 3325, Haydn and Firefly. With individual varieties outclassed relatively quickly as the remarkable improvement in sugar beet yield potential continues, the farm opted to revise its variety line-up this year. Mr Roe believes yield is king when selecting a sugar beet variety and at 104.9% of mean adjusted tonnes, BTS 1140 offers a massive 7% increase over BBRO Recommended List control varieties; Haydn and Firefly, which it has now replaced. “When you are looking at Recommended Lists, I can’t get excited about one or two per cent, but anything over 5%, I see as significant and that’s why we went with BTS 1140 this year,” he explains.


Limagrain UK 2020 UK beet crop varieties

BTS 3325
Has good early sown bolting tolerance, outyielding many of the traditional varieties in this early drilling slot. It has a very high sugar content and good overall disease resistance.

BTS 1140
Offers a significant yield advantage over many varieties on the new BBRO Recommended List. It offers a high sugar content, combined with good foliar disease tolerance.

BTS 4100
Joins the 2020 BBRO Recommended List with the highest sugar content of any sugar beet variety. It has high yields and low bolting counts at early sowing.

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