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

Thor Sugar Beet

Thor: The cost-effective way to hammer nematodes!

Thor sugar beet

Thor sugar beet

  • Beet Cyst Nematode tolerant & Rhizomania resistant
  • Diploid NE type – higher root yield than average
  • Recommended in January 2012
  • Cost effective and affordable

Thor sugar beet is a specialist variety tolerant to Beet Cyst Nematode (BCNsee base of this page for a full  definition), giving good yields in fields of low, medium and high nematode infestation. Thor has excellent establishment and the lowest bolting of all BCN tolerant varieties on the 2018 BBRO/BSPB Recommended & Descriptive Lists.

Introduced in 2012, Thor sugar beet shows a high level of tolerance to Beet Cyst Nematodes (BCN) and provides effective performance against the nematode to protect your income and slow down the build up of nematodes. With a pf/pi ratio of considerably less than 2.0, Thor allows a markedly smaller increase in nematode populations compared with the light tolerant types or non-tolerant varieties.

The yield of Thor sugar beet, in terms of Sugar Yield and Adjusted Tonnes, is not a million miles from all the other BCN tolerant varieties in uninfected conditions and will match these in infected conditions.

Under light nematode pressure a yield advantage of about 10%, compared to non-tolerant varieties, should be expected. Under moderate nematode pressure a yield advantage of up to 30%, compared to non-tolerant varieties, should be expected and under high pressure, a yield advantage of up to 50-60%, compared to non-tolerant varieties, can be possible.

Why choose Thor Sugar Beet?

  • For light, moderate & high BCN infestations
  • High yields in infested conditions
  • The lowest bolting of all BCN varieties and suitable for early drilling
  • High root yields
  • Very competitively priced

How to use Thor Sugar Beet:

  • Suitable for all soil types
  • Early, mid-late season drilling
  • Harvest early or late

Why not consider trying some Thor in a field that you think might be infested with BCN?  If included in a couple of units on the drill with the remainder as non-tolerant types, if there is a problem with BCN, it should be clear to see: the non-tolerant will suffer and Thor will be fine. Growing a range of varieties on the same field allows you to find the one that best suits your land and gives you the opportunity of a “field-scale” trial for yield and looks. Whilst cosmetics are interesting, it is ultimately what the harvester puts on the pad and what the factory pays that decides the outcome.

Find Out More About Strube UK’s Sugar Beet Varieties

If you would like to know more about Strube UK’s sugar beet varieties or would like to become involved in a sugar beet trial, then please do not hesitate to contact the Strube UK team.  Alternatively you can contact us by calling Richard at our Fakenham office on (01328) 851572 or by emailing him by clicking here.

Downloadable file: Strube Variety Guide 2017

What is Beet Cyst Nematode?

Beet Cyst Nematode (BCN) is a persistent soil-borne pest which can reduce root yields by up to 60% and build up over time to render fields unusable for sugar beet and some other crops. Lower levels of infection, which may present little or no visible symptoms can cause up to 10% root loss and begin a build up in the soil which will cause problems in later years.

The recent increased incidence of the problem is thought to be caused by the concentration of the beet growing area, a trend to closer rotations, increases in soil temperature and the inclusion of other host crops in the rotation, particularly oilseed rape.

There is now no permitted chemical control for BCN. The only solution has been to lengthen rotations. However, varieties tolerant to the disease have now become available and these work well – effectively transforming the ability of some land to grow beet profitably again.

The Multiplication Issue

While a low population of BCN may have little impact on the current crop, or those immediately following, nematodes will multiply and build up in the soil. A conventional (non-tolerant) variety will usually have a multiplication factor of 5-10 times, a BCN tolerant variety will have a multiplication factor of 1-2 times. Although the rate of increase of population is reduced in the presence of a tolerant variety, some build up will still occur.

Trials undertaken in Germany between 2003 and 2006 by LWK Niedersachsen showed that both susceptible and tolerant varieties will always multiply nematodes and that the multiplication factor is generally dependent on the initial population – the smaller the population, the stronger the multiplication.

As infestations occur in ‘hot spots’, it is difficult to establish a reliable measure of population over a large area. As with levels of Rhizomania infection, these effects are not measured in National List trials. There is therefore no reliable comparable measure of the difference in multiplication factor between different soil types, weather conditions or beet varieties.

However, the German trials clearly showed that infestation levels continue to rise, even in the presence of tolerant varieties. Although the yield of the immediate beet crop may not be affected, the future of the soil gives cause for concern. In the future, if no new chemical controls become available, growers will have to use a range of control strategies.

The nominal multiplication factor is calculated by dividing the final nematode population (Pf) by the initial nematode population (Pi). Values of more than 1 indicate an increase in population. Values of less than 1 indicate a decrease in population.