The British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) has published 2018 disease results from the Recommended List (RL) series of trials that were not treated with foliar fungicides.
This work is in its first year and results must be treated with caution, warns BBRO. Replicated trials were carried out at two sites – Fritton, near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Cranwell, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire.
The variety with the highest score on untreated yield at both sites was Vixen. At Fritton it scored 108.3 per cent of controls and at Cranwell, 106.5 per cent. Other varieties scoring highly were BTS 860, BTS 3325, Kortessa and Degas.
The varieties were also scored for rust and powdery mildew. Varieties most susceptible to rust at Fritton were Haydn (37.5 per cent), Gauguin (27.3 per cent), Philina (24.8 per cent) and Conger (24.8 per cent). At Cranwell it was Philina (15.5 per cent), Conger (14 per cent) and Cayman (13.5 per cent). Varieties most susceptible to powdery mildew at Fritton were BTS4100 (13 per cent), Gauguin (12 per cent) and Vixen (12.5 per cent). At Cranwell it was Gauguin (45.5 per cent), Degas (34.5 per cent) and Hornet (33.3 per cent).
Ian Munnery, general manager of sugar beet breeding company Sesvanderhave says the new data could be useful for growers when deciding upon fungicide applications, particularly where beet is being harvested early.
“Have a look at the data and at the varieties you have. Monitor fields for pustules of rust and powdery mildew. If you are lifting in September and have not seen spores you do not necessarily need to spend money on fungicides.”
By the same logic, when harvesting early, growers could look at choosing a variety with a high untreated yield to allow possible savings on fungicide, he suggests, with more flexibility when choosing varieties for later harvest as these will nearly always receive a fungicide.
More information is available at: bbro.co.uk/media/50092/19-7-2018-rl-disease-data-table.pdf