New Sugar Beet Seed Treatments Trialed with UK Growers

Germains Seed Technology has been providing sugar beet seed treatments to growers in the United Kingdom since the 1960s. Today, Germains remains committed to developing industry-leading sugar beet technologies, helping growers to achieve a faster and more consistent emergence and ultimately deliver greater yields to support the UK sugar industry. Germains’ innovative R&D department have developed a range of new sugar beet seed treatments for developmental and commercial field trials, which we would like to trial on a larger scale with growers in the coming seasons.

New Sugar Beet Seed Treatments Trialed

Here at Germains, we value the engagement with growers from all British Sugar factory areas especially when it comes to trialling various new seed treatments, we have been fortunate enough to trial the seed through the annual sugar beet strip trials. The annual trials provide excellent opportunities for growers, British Sugar Area Managers and Germains representatives to evaluate the performance of new seed treatments in the field on a commercial scale. The feedback and trial results are crucial to the assessment of current and future seed treatments in our R&D pipeline.

What is a Grower Strip Trial?

Sugar beet treatments

2016 Strip Trial Overview

Three growers from each of the British Sugar’s four factory areas (Wissington, Bury St. Edmunds, Cantley and Newark) were invited to participate in this year’s trials. Our objective is to create a fair representation of the performance of the seed, eliminating any variations in soil conditions and drill types.

This year’s strip trial involved the drilling of four treatments of trial seed: Control (Standard Xbeet Plus), Treatment 1, Treatment 2 and Treatment 3. Each grower received three units of Control, Treatment 1 or Treatment 2 or 3, all split evenly amongst the twelve growers.

Three plots measuring 10m in length were identified and marked out within each of the grower’s chosen field. The plan of each plot below was replicated across each site assessed.

Drilling the trial seed

The wet and cool weather conditions experienced across East Anglia this spring was challenging and resulted in the later drilling of seed in some areas. Consequently, emergence was slow at some of the plots, especially within the North Norfolk and Cantley areas. On a positive note, the showery weather that followed the drilling of the sites in late March, benefitted from the added moisture and there was evidence of consistent and uniform emergence.

Drilling at Wisbech

Sugar Beet Drilling at our Wisbech Site – March 2016

Emergence Counts

Post drilling, Germains representatives were in regular contact with the growers to monitor the emergence of the trialled seed and schedule visits to collect the emergence data.

The three emergence counts were recorded at each site at 25%, 50% and 75% emergence of the Control, Treatment 1 and Treatment 2/3. The first count to capture 25% emergence was conducted approximately one month post drill.


Emergence seedling | Cantley Factory Area, Norfolk

Emergence Count Results

The graph below is an example of the counts  we have been seeing at the  Cantley Factory area in Norfolk.

In the Cantley area, New treatment 3 consistently achieved the highest counts at 25%, 50% and 75% emergence. This was followed by control and New Treatment 1. New Treatment 3 performed the  highest across the counts.

Trial Limitations

We have observed more varied count results this season in comparison to previous ones. This is due to multiple factors, such as the prolonged wet and cold weather conditions. Damage was also noticed in some fields from birds and other pests, which also impacted the results.

Cyclops Assessments

The final stage of the strip trial was a Cyclops assessment. Cyclops is our unique imaging system that was developed to measure leaf area. This allows us to monitor the early development of the sugar beet plants and the effects of treatments on early plant growth. The results obtained provide data to identify new products to support the growers within the UK Seed Account.

New Sugar Beet Seed Treatments

Cyclops Assessment

The Cyclops assessments were completed at each site approximately 100 days post drilling date, throughout June. These results are currently under analysis with our research and development department and will be published on the Germains website within the next few weeks.


We would like to thank all of the growers and area managers whom dedicated their time and resources to allow us to conduct these trials. This has enabled us to gain a valuable insight into the emergence, early establishment and leaf area of the new seed treatments. This would not have been possible without their support.We are looking forward to the 2017 season. Germains will be holding further strip trials with growers to improve our knowledge of the new seed treatments so we may continue to deliver innovative seed technology to the UK Sugar Beet Industry.

Contact for Us More Information

If you would like to learn more about our current and future Strip Trial programmes, please contact a member of the UK Commercial team on 01553 772 210. For more information about our sugar beet technologies click here.