• Sugar beet being drilled with Strube UK's pasteur sugar beet seeds

BBRO/BSPB Sugar Beet Recommended List 2017

Sugar Beet Establishment

The new BBBRO/BSPB Sugar Beet Recommended and Descriptive Lists for 2017 have quite a few changes from last year and lots of choice.

Seven varieties leave the lists and eight new varieties are added.  Of the seven leaving the lists, some, such as Lippizan, have served growers well, but four of the sugar beet varieties leaving (BTS 515, BTS 755, TABATHA KWS and TASMANIA KWS) were only added last year!  The eight new recommendations, which will be available from four different suppliers, are a testament to the work that breeders are doing to advance yields.

BBRO/BSPB Sugar Beet Recommended List 2017

There are a total of 23 sugar beet varieties on the BBRO/BSPB Sugar Beet Recommended & Descriptive Lists for 2017. There are 16 rhizomania resistant varieties on the main Recommended List for the primary market segment, which makes up more than 95% of the national crop.  And on the 2017 Descriptive List, there are 6 varieties for beet cyst nematode infected land – some 4 – 5% of the national crop, and 1 variety for land troubled by the AYPR strain of rhizomania.

Lots of Choice for Sugar Beet Growers

Sugar beet growers have plenty of choice and all the Listed varieties should do a decent job – hence their Recommendation. However, there are some important and useful differences to exploit.

Variety selection is not necessarily all about yield: additional characters, such as bolting, establishment, disease resistance and sugar content are all factors that should be taken into consideration. And now, with the increasing focus on input costs, the cost of seed is likely to also figure in the selection process.

The new BBRO/BSPB Recommended List offers a mixture of proven and new varieties with high yield potential and all 16 varieties are in a different league to those of ten years ago. With a better number of trials (24) now in the current trials matrix that goes to create the Recommended List (2013 – 9, 2014 – 8, 2015 – 7), sugar beet growers should feel reasonably confident in using the data. That said, the difference in performance between sometimes specially selected trial seed and full commercial seed production is worth taking into account. The provenance of the seed and the credibility of the variety’s relative performance have become materially important to variety choice.

So selecting varieties is very much an exercise in risk management. You need to balance the potentially exciting new choices with others that are proven and trustworthy. Statistically, there is not a great deal of difference between the leading varieties, so performance over a number of seasons and commerce should be taken into consideration.

In addition, conventional wisdom argues that up to half the crop should be in the Fully Recommended varieties which are fully commercially proven. As the leading varieties in this category, we would suggest that Haydn and Pasteur are sound and reliable choices for every variety selection.

BBRO/BSPB Recommended & Descriptive Lists 2017

If you would like to know more about the BBRO/BSPB Recommended & Descriptive Lists, then please do not hesitate to contact the Strube UK team.  Alternatively you can me by calling our Fakenham office on (01328) 851572 or by emailing me by clicking here.