Inside the BARN with Betaseed’s John Dillman…
(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) November 21, 2016 – According to the Nov 13th NASS-CO Crop Progress Report…82% of CO’s sugarbeets have been harvested, down14% from our 5yr avg pace and down 10% from last year. Many producers are already asking What’s “in store” for sugarbeet growers in 2017, particularly from the angle of research and varietal selection.
Joining the CO Ag News Network to learn more about that is John Dillman of Betaseed…
To learn more about Betaseed, where Research Breeds Confidence, please visit http://www.betaseed.com/
Sugarbeet Growers Laud Betaseed Varieties
BLOOMINGTON, MINN. (Nov. 16, 2016) — As the sugarbeet seed industry’s leading research and breeding organization, Betaseed is continually looking for ways to improve its varieties in the ways that matter most to growers, such as sugar content and yield. Growers who planted Betaseed beet seed in 2016 have not been disappointed.
“We are seeing one of the best crops ever,” says Keith Miller, who grows 400 acres of sugarbeets with his brother and son near Glyndon, Minnesota. “We had a dry spring, with too little moisture for germination, so we had to replant about 50 acres. And we have been spraying to stay ahead of Cercospora leaf spot. But despite these challenges, we are averaging 28 to 30 tons per acre, with sugar content around 18 percent.
“We have always planted Betaseed,” adds Miller, who started farming in 1983. “Betaseed offers new varieties every year, and we can pick a balanced disease package that works for our farm. For us, that includes dealing with Rhizoctonia and Fusarium resistance. Year in and year out, Betaseed varieties produce good sugar content and tonnage.”
Research Breeds Confidence
Ted Roth, a sugarbeet grower in the panhandle of Nebraska, says he plants most of his sugarbeet acres with Betaseed because he relies on good emergence for a successful crop. “I only grow about 75 to 80 acres of sugarbeets, and rely on furrow irrigation and Mother Nature for water, so I need to have 100 percent confidence the plants will emerge into a good stand,” he explains. “In fact, I plant on the heavy side, in narrow, 22-inch rows, striving for 160 to 180 beets per foot of row harvest stand. If the initial stand is too thick, I can use a mechanical thinner, but really, I want that thick canopy to reduce late-season weed pressure.”
In 2016, Roth says that despite dry conditions from July 1 onward, his sugarbeets are yielding 36–39 tons/acre, with 16–18.4 percent sugar. He attributes these results to Betaseed’s high-yielding varieties.
For years, Betaseed researchers have led the way in the development of new, more vigorous sugarbeet varieties. For example, Betaseed was the first sugarbeet breeder to use genetic marker technology to test for nematode and rhizomania resistance, as well as herbicide tolerance, which resulted in hybrids with these important traits. Betaseed also played an integral role in the development and introduction of Roundup Ready® sugarbeets for North America, a breakthrough that allowed growers to more effectively manage yield-robbing weeds in their fields.
Broadest Base of Genetic Material, Plus Added Protection
In addition, Betaseed’s two coordinated breeding programs — one based in Kimberly, Idaho, for curly top, Rhizoctonia and rhizomania; and the other, based in Shakopee and Moorhead, Minnesota, for diseases such as Aphanomyces, Fusarium, root aphid and Cercospora — work toward mutually beneficial goals. Year after year, this industry-leading research produces strong disease tolerance and improved yields for North American sugarbeet farmers.
“Our broad base of genetic material is what enables Betaseed to continue to seek higher-yielding hybrids,” states Jay Miller (no relation), head of breeding and product management for Betaseed in North America. “Over the past decade, Betaseed varieties have played a significant role in achieving record-setting industry yields. Even this past year, when disease pressure was tremendous in many areas, Betaseed varieties exhibited excellent disease tolerance, protecting grower yields. Also, Betaseed varieties have shown great stability and reliability over competitors, and helped to minimize extreme climactic conditions.”
In addition to broad genetics, Betaseed has been making a dedicated effort to evaluate seed treatment products for efficacy using field evaluations in small plots, strip trials and in disease nurseries. Betaseed also screens all prospective seed treatments for seed safety in its Quality Assurance lab to identify any adverse effects to sugarbeet plants from the seed treatment products, particularly when multiple seed treatments are used in combination. Many growers found that seed treatments provide added confidence, especially in wet years like 2016.
“With a vast genetic database, top plant breeders and an ear to growers’ needs, Betaseed is well equipped to continue to deliver continually improving varieties,” concludes Jay Miller. “We always strive to be ahead of the curve in addressing growers’ needs, so they can continue to produce high-quality, high-yielding sugarbeets.”
Betaseed, Inc., headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota, is North America’s premier sugarbeet seed company. From our start in 1970, Betaseed has maintained a longstanding commitment to the beet sugar industry, with research and seed production operations in several states and marketing seed to all sugarbeet markets. Our mission is to develop the best performing seed products and services through innovative people, plant breeding, and seed technology.