Beet variety joins Recommended List with highest sugar content

The variety has produced high sugar levels consistently over the last three years trials
The variety has produced high sugar levels consistently over the last three years trials

A sugar beet variety joins the 2020 Recommended List with the highest sugar content at 18.4 percent.

BTS 4100, bred by Betaseed, joins the British Beet Research Organisation's (BBRO) Recommended List, which tests the genetic potential of new candidate varieties.

It has the highest sugar content of any sugar beet variety, whilst also offering high yields and low bolting counts at early sowing.

The variety has produced these high sugar levels consistently over the last three years in Recommended List trials.

In 2016, BTS 4100 yielded 18%, whilst the average sugar percentage across the RL trials was 17.7%. In 2017 when the national average was 18.4%, BTS 4100 yielded 0.6% more at 19%.

And in 2018, the national average was 17.8% and BTS 4100 again yielded 0.6% more, at 18.4%.

Ron Granger, sugar beet product manager at Limagrain, who marketed the variety, says: “Growers will recognise that on certain soil types or in difficult field conditions, a high sugar content can be hard to achieve.

“In these situations a variety such as BTS 4100 with a genetically high sugar content offers the best insurance for maximising full yield potential, as expressed in adjusted tonnes.”

Along with the high sugar levels, BTS 4100 offers high adjusted tonne yields of 101.8% - reflecting a step-up over some of the older varieties on the list.

However, whilst yield and sugar content are the top criteria for choosing a new sugar beet variety, factors such as establishment and bolting tolerance are also important – particularly when deciding which variety is best for the situation, adds Mr Granger.

“For those looking to drill in the first half of March, in an attempt to get crops up and away to combat virus yellows infection, BTS 4100 fits this drilling slot very well. It has excellent bolting tolerance and is one of only a few varieties on the RL, that offers no bolters when drilled in the normal sowing slot.”

He says: “This is combined with good emergence characteristics and a good tolerance to rust. It is also Rhizomania tolerant.”