Three new varieties have been added to the 2010 BBRO/NIAB Recommended List of Sugar Beet Varieties. This is fewer than recent years and with withdrawals means there are now 17 varieties to choose from.
Saracen from Syngenta is a conventional variety with high yield potential. Aimanta is the first recommended variety from Syngenta with rhizomania resistance. From KWS comes Fiorenza KWS, a variety with rhizomania resistance and beet cyst nematode (BCN) tolerance with a special recommendation for use under BCN infested conditions only.
“The BCN tolerance breeding technology has been demonstrated, in independent testing in Europe, to give yield benefits under BCN infested conditions. BCN could be an increasing problem in England with tighter rotations and it will be interesting to see how this variety performs under infested conditions,” says NIAB’s Simon Kerr.
With the recent increase in levels of rhizomania it is essential that the risk of the disease is assessed before variety choice is made so that a decision on which type of variety to use can be made.
Mr Kerr recommends that when inspecting this year’s crops, plants from any suspect areas should be sent to the Broom’s Barn Rhizomania Clinic so that a diagnosis can be made to aid in future variety selection and control strategy. In outbreak areas, particularly Norfolk and Suffolk, the widespread nature of the disease means a variety with resistance is a must. Elsewhere, the level of disease needs to be carefully assessed before decisions are made.
2010 BBRO/NIAB Recommended List of Sugar Beet Varieties
Recommended varieties (R) – after initial provisional recommendation, varieties are tested for a further three years with commercial seed before being considered for transfer to the recommended (R) category.
• R varieties: Bobcat (Rh), Opta, Pernilla
Provisionally Recommended varieties (PR) – tested for a minimum of three years before adding to the list in PR1 and then also tested over a further two years (PR2 and PR3) before potential promotion to the R group.
• PR3 varieties: Alota, Bullfinch (Rh), Goya (Rh), Pondus, Trinita,
• PR2 varieties: Carissima (Rh), Levi (Rh), Mandella, Sophia (Rh), Tempest, Topper,
• PR1 varieties: Aimanta (Rh), Saracen.
Provisionally Recommended for Special Use (PRS) – tested for a minimum of three years before adding to the list in PRS1 and then also tested over a further two years (PRS2 and PRS3) before potential promotion to the S or R group. Varieties may be recommended for special use if they have special attribute(s), which justifies limited use but are inferior to recommended varieties in other important characters.
• PRS1 variety: Fiorenza KWS (Rh) – a variety with beet cyst nematode tolerance. Recommended for use only in situations where infestation with beet cyst nematode has been confirmed by a soil test.
The list will be published in full in the June edition of the British Sugar Beet Review.
 Rh denotes rhizomania resistance
For further information contact:
Simon Kerr, Head of field operators, crops and traits, NIAB
T: 01223 342292
E: simon.kerr [at] niab.com ()
Ros Lloyd, Front Foot Communications
T: 01487 831425
E: ros.lloyd [at] frontfoot.uk.com ()