UK Sugar Beet Strip Trials – 2017

Germains is committed to developing innovative new seed technologies that maximise the potential of sugar beet seed and optimise yield. Dedicated to backing British sugar beet farming, Germains’ UK R&D department have developed a range of new technologies that are currently in UK field trial sites with the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), Armstrong Fisher and growers.

Germains values the interaction with UK sugar beet growers through our annual sugar beet strip trials. This gives Germains the opportunity to obtain feedback of the performance of new seed technologies on a commercial scale.

Sugar Beet Strip Trial Overview

The strip trials are completed in the four British Sugar factory areas: Bury St Edmunds, Cantley, Newark and Wissington. This provides a representative sample of data, allowing Germains to analyse the performance of the seed on a variety of different field conditions and drill types across the UK.

Plot Plan

Each of the growers involved in this year’s strip trials received three units of seed: A control treatment, Treatment 1 (T1) and Treatment 2 (T2). Subject to drill type, the seed was distributed evenly across the drill to follow a sequence of control, T1 and T2. The seed was then drilled out across the field, within which three 10m plots were marked out.

Sugar beet strip trials

2017 Strip Trial Plot Plan

The treatments are marked out within each plot to highlight the area for the data to be collected.

Sugar Beet Strip Trials

Beginning of a Strip Trial Plot in the Newark Area

Data Collection

The data collection involves two assessments by Germains representatives:

Emergence Counts

Will be conducted at first emergence, 50% and 100% emergence. This will provide an insight into the impact of the new seed treatments on the emergence of the sugar beet seedlings.

Cyclop Assessments

This is our unique image capturing system, which is used to measure leaf area and monitor the early growth of the sugar beet in the field. This data will be collected approximately 80 days post drilling.

2017 Trial Update

The dry and warm weather conditions that we experienced throughout the Newark, Cantley, Wissington and Bury areas allowed the drilling of the trial seed to run smoothly. All 12 trial sites were drilled between the middle of March through to early April.

sugar beet strip trials

Strip Trial Drilling 2017 in the Newark Area

The emergence counts are well underway with the majority of the trial sites at the 75 – 100% emergence stage. Recent cooler temperatures combined with the dry conditions, has meant that the germination of some of the seedlings has been slow. With these conditions in mind, the data has demonstrated a strong performance in the new treatments.

Shaun Ashfield, Germains’ Technical Consultant, is managing some of this year’s trial site across the Newark and Cantley areas. Shaun comments that:

Shaun Ashfield – Germains’ Technical Consultant

“Overall the trials have gone well. In all cases treatment emergence has been similar, even with this year conditions which have been dry with some sites not having rain from the time of drilling. Trials have been carried out across all soil types and drilling dates to see if any emergence variations occur. Generally the new treatments have performed better than standard pellet types with quicker emergence and stronger plants.”

Keep up-to-date with the progress of the trials, including the emergence count and Cyclops data on the news page of the website.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Germains’ strip trial programme or wish to participate in future trials, please contact EU Commercial Sugar Beet Manager Tessa Seymour at for more information.