KWS SAAT SE and Bayer AG have given access to a long-term licence for their new CONVISO SMART sugar beet cultivation system to the Belgian sugar beet seed breeding company SESVanderHave
The technology is based on the breeding of sugar beet varieties tolerant to herbicides in the ALS inhibitor class with broad-spectrum weed control.
The CONVISO SMART system will offer farmers a new option to make sugar beet cultivation easier, more flexible in terms of the window for herbicide application and more environmentally compatible, according to SESVanderHave.
The technology will be available next year to farmers in eastern and northern Europe, says the company.
The agreement with SESVanderHave is the first licence that KWS and Bayer have granted for this new cultivation system with further licences for the system set to follow,” says Sabine Stolz of Bayer Crop Science.
“We want as many breeders for this technology as possible. With SESVanderHave, we now have a strong partner with many years of experience in sugar beet breeding and cultivation, who will be able to make a crucial contribution in this regard.
“We are happy reaching an agreement with Bayer and KWS providing access to the CONVISO SMART technology,” says Rob van Tetering, CEO of SESVanderHave. “We shall be introducing our hybrids with CONVISO SMART technology into the market soon. This new technology will allow sugar beet growers and the sugar industry to be more efficient and competitive against sugar cane and other crops.“
Dr Peter Hofmann, member of the executive board of KWS adds: “CONVISO SMART is a real innovation for sugar beet cultivation allowing weed control with lower herbicide volumes and reduced application frequency.
“We want to allow all breeders to have access to this technology. Ongoing research efforts are needed to keep sugar beet at the top of competitiveness among all sweeteners. Good weed resistance management is vital to maintain the benefits of the system in the long term.”
The new sugar beet plants have a naturally occurring change in an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of essential amino acids. During development, sugar beets with this spontaneously changed enzyme were specifically selected and used for further breeding, according to SESVanderHave.