Sugar Beet Strip Trial Update | 2016

In the United Kingdom, British Sugar operates four factories supplied with sugar beets grown from seeds treated with Germains’ seed technologies. Germains innovative R&D department have developed a range of new products and technologies that are currently in developmental and commercial field trials with trialling companies and growers. As part of our grower interaction Germains conducts annual sugar beet strip trials so that both partners have the opportunity to evaluate how the treated sugar beet seeds perform in the field on a commercial scale.

2016 Strip Trial Overview

In order to produce data to see how the seeds grow in various regions, three growers from each of British Sugar’s four factory areas are invited to participate.  Conducting strip trials in different regions allows us to get a fair representation of the performance in different soil and drill types. When the trials conclude, the results and field counts are collated by representatives from Germains and the results are shared with British Sugar and their growers for review.

2016 Strip Trial Plan

The 2016 strip trial involved the drilling of three units of seed, which consisted of a control, treatment 1 and treatment 2. The 10m plots followed a sequence of control, treatment 1 and treatment 2, as demonstrated below. The plot area was highlighted with a marker at the start and end of each control strip. It is important to mark these plots in the right way to allow us to perform emergence counts.

Sugar Beet Strip Trial Plot Overview

Strip Trial Drilling Update

Each year every grower has a planting strategy set in their mind, however there are times when environmental conditions will alter the grower’s strategy. The spring weather has not been in our favour so far this season with very wet weather conditions in the East Anglia region. On a positive note, we have now managed to drill all 12 sites across the Cantley, Newark, Wissington and Bury St. Edmunds areas.

The temptation to drill must be overcome in order to create a well-established seedbed on strong soils. The BBRO advises that patience is the key, emphasising that “Trying to force a seedbed risks losing what little tilth there is, leaving seeds poorly covered or with poor seed to soil contact”.

Drilling at Wisbech
Sugar Beet Drilling at our Wisbech Site | Germains Seed Technology 2016 Strip Trials

Emergence counts

Following the drilling of the seed, we will conduct approximately three emergence counts of each area tested approximately 1 month post drill. Germains representatives will be in communication with the grower to monitor the emergence of the treatments trialled and schedule visits to collect the emergence data. The last assessment will be Cyclops which is our image capture system to measure the leaf area of given plot.

For those fields located in the dryer regions that we were able to plant, we have started to conduct 25% and additional 50% emergence counts of the sites that have been drilled. From the counts, we have seen evidence of consistent and uniformed emergence across our trial sites.

Contact Us for More Information

If you have any questions about Germains’ annual strip trials results or wish to participate in future trials, please contact Commercial Development Manager Tessa Seymour.