Betaseed in the New Year

Published in the January 2013 Issue Published online: Jan 06, 2013
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"While facilities and equipment give Betaseed a great capacity to develop high-performing varieties, it is our researchers' creativity and ingenuity that really make our development effort a successful one.

The year of 2012 has been an excellent year for sugarbeet producers, with record yields and sugar levels achieved on many farms in North America. An early start to the growing season coupled with generally good stand establishment enabled the sugarbeet crop to tolerate periods of extreme temperatures-both hot and cold-and extremes in precipitation as well-both wet and dry. It was great to see our Betaseed customers achieve high levels of performance with their sugarbeet crop.

Since our start in 1970, Betaseed has invested aggressively in research infrastructure at our research stations in Kimberly, Idaho, and in Moorhead and Shakopee, Minn. While facilities and equipment at these locations give Betaseed great capacity to develop high-performing varieties, it is our researchers' creativity and ingenuity that really make our development effort a successful one.

In recent years, Betaseed scientists and technicians have modified research sugarbeet harvesters to incorporate new technology. By using Near InfraRed Spectroscopy (NIRS) instruments to measure the sugar content of the harvested plots, we have increased our testing capacity. In over three years of using the custom-built harvesters with the NIRS technology, we have been able to test significantly more potential hybrids so we can select the best products for our customers. This technology also gives us greater efficiency, providing information to our breeders as the research plot harvest occurs each day rather than having them wait for up to two weeks while the lab analysis is conducted. Advancement decisions are made sooner and more accurately.

As we look ahead to the 2013 production year, our sales managers and independent sales agents in Michigan, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho are looking forward to discussing the benefits growers have experienced planting Betaseed cyst nematode-tolerant varieties. Growers report higher yields and increased sugar content, even in fields without a past history of nematode infestation. After three years of commercial sales of Genuity Roundup Ready nematode-tolerant varieties, grower demand continues to increase. Betaseed is responding to this demand by continuing to expand our industry-leading nematode-tolerant portfolio. It is expected that well over half of the acres in some markets will be planted to nematode-tolerant varieties, and Betaseed is well supplied to meet this need in 2013.

Betaseed varieties containing MultiSource tolerance to rhizomania will be in strong demand in 2013 based on the experience growers had in 2012. These varieties that have more than one source of tolerance to rhizomania performed well in fields that have experienced rhizomania symptoms in the past, allowing the plant continue to thrive even in tough conditions.

"Betaseed research facility is shown. Courtesy photo.

Research breeds confidence, and the Betaseed product portfolio is well-positioned to help growers achieve their full potential in 2013.