Germains Seed Technology is aware that some UK growers have raised concerns about the emergence of their sugar beet crop, particularly in earlier sown fields. The issues reported to date don’t appear to be restricted to a single seed variety, but the majority seem to be in crops which were drilled before 8th April 2013. Early indications suggest that this has been strongly influenced by this year’s unusually cold spring weather. Germains is working very closely with our customers the NFU and British Sugar, with the BBRO and the seed breeders to evaluate and understand the cause.
With support from Germains, the BBRO is conducting extensive laboratory simulations to attempt to mimic the difficult field conditions produced by this abnormally cold spring. The results of these initial experiments will be made available once completed.
All finished boxes of seed dispatched by Germains for the UK market, have passed through rigorous quality tests and quality assurance controls for germination, which are externally recognised by and accredited to the International Seed Testing Association standard. Average laboratory germination for the seeds was 97.8% in line with that of previous years and well in excess of the 90% germination specification agreed with industry stakeholders.
We recommend that growers follow the BBRO advice on re-drilling where plant populations are considered to be less than acceptable.
If a grower has concerns about emergence of their drilled sugar beet, they should contact their British Sugar area manager.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Gerard Mulqueen – Business Unit Director – Sugar Beet
Mobile: +44 (0) 7734 981 768
Telephone: +44 (0) 1553 779 205
Germains Seed Technology, Hansa Road, Hardwick Industrial Estate,
King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 4LG, UK