31 March 2015 | Online since 2003



Keep sugar beet crops clean for maximum return this harvest


Sesvanderhave’s trials reflect the good health of sugar beet across the region, and with good prices secured for this harvest year, growers should aim to keep crops clean to make the most of a bumper yield, advises Richard Robinson, Trials and Research Manager at Sesvanderhave UK.

“The contract price for the crop in the ground is good, therefore it is worth investing in to keep crops clean with good leaf” says Richard.

“Recent rain across most of the beet-growing region has benefited crops. Although there is a bit of mildew occurring in a few places, most growers applied fungicide treatments in good time and have kept disease in check.”

Towards the end of August and into September growers should regularly check crops for brown rust. The first sighting of disease is an indicator that a T2 treatment may be required.

As yet there is no evidence of silver Y moth, but growers should remain vigilant. The pest is especially active in warm and wet weather and large populations can cause significant yield loss from de-foliation.

“We’ve seen low levels of bolters across this year, mainly down to warmer temperatures during March and April, but low bolting varieties remain a key objective for UK breeding and testing. Where there are any individual bolters, growers should go through the crop and hand pull, to prevent weed issues building up for the future,” suggests Richard.

Sesvanderhave’s trials are looking good with high yields forecast over the 18,000 plots across East Anglia and Lincolnshire. “Growers will be re-assured to know our next generation of genetics looks set to continue the year on year increase in breeding progress,” says Richard.

“Our UK trials team has just completed the second bolter assessment from our own trials of commercial seed drilled early on 21st February and report 5% average bolting across all varieties. It remains critical to drill Bolter Trials this early to get reliable data on varietal susceptibility to bolting,” Richard concludes.

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