Germains is passionate about investing in research to support the development of innovative seed technologies that make sugar beet production more efficient and further enhance British sugar beet yields. As part of this commitment, Germains have invested in two growth rooms at the Riverside glasshouse, adjacent to British Sugar’s factory located in Wissington, UK.
The building of the growth rooms commenced in August 2016, and was completed in April this year. Watch our time lapse of the build below.
What are the Growth Rooms?
The facility consists of two bespoke walk-in chambers, which allow us to control conditions such as the temperature (in range from 4 to 35°C), humidity and light intensity in a managed and efficient way. This allows us to mimic a range of different field conditions that sugar beet plants may be exposed to, from wet and cold to dry and warm and will help us to understand how new treatments can support the growth in those conditions.
How will the Growth Rooms Benefit our New Product Development?
The ability to replicate specific growth conditions in-house will allow us to carry out a number of different assessments during the early growth period.
Those parameters include:
• emergence speed
• plant population
• root and shoot growth intensity
• nutrient uptake by plant
• root structure and development
• chlorophyll measurements
Such tests will allow our scientists to understand how our new sugar beet seed technologies influence the growth of plants.
The Growth Rooms will allow us to carry out various emergence and growth tests on potential new sugar beet seed treatments in number of cycles throughout the year. Accelerating the testing process will give greater efficiency as completing more tests will allow us to identify the most promising new seed technologies before the treatments are then taken to the field trial stage.
Rafal Marcinek, Senior Scientist, responsible for the Growth Rooms, comments:
“Control of environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity or rainfall during the experiment is an important factor and almost impossible to influence in the field. These facilities will allow us to monitor development of the plants under specified conditions and provide us with valuable information about new seed treatments. It is very exciting to see those Growth Rooms becoming a part of our new product development process. Its value, from both scientific and commercial point of view, is unquestionable.”
Germains are committed to maximising the potential of UK sugar beet farming and the ability to recognise the most valuable seed technologies will also help us to deliver new products to enhance yields and furthermore back British farming.