Filling Growers’ Needs

Seedex breeders diversify hybrid variety portfolio

Published online: Nov 24, 2020 News
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This report appears in the November/December 2020 issue of Sugar Producer.

Each year during harvest, beet growers begin making decisions on the varieties they’ll plant next year, based on factors such as seed dealer recommendations, sugar content and yield, or official trial results. Regardless of the deciding factor, we all know how important it is to “diversify your portfolio.”

Seedex encourages this, and Seedex breeders do the same within their hybrid variety profile. They know how important it is to bring all the tolerance needed into a hybrid, whether it’s Aphanomyces or Rhizoctonia tolerance, or a combination of both. Or whether it need root aphid tolerance with strong Cercospora tolerance, or curly top tolerance in a nematode variety. Seedex breeders develop multiple genetic lines focusing on the right combinations of disease tolerance to fit across a wide variety of regions. The company’s hybrids are tested in all markets and in a wide array of conditions. These observations help Seedex direct where they see the best fits for individual farms.

American Crystal Sugar Company

Growers in the Red River Valley will have a nice choice in Seedex varieties to plant in 2020. Seedex now offers two new varieties for approval this year. SX 1887 and SX 1888 both build on the agronomic strengths of Marathon and increase sugar and disease tolerance. SX 1887 will shine in areas where Aphanomyces can be an issue, but also brings stronger root aphid and Rhizoctonia tolerance—so a great hybrid overall. SX 1888 brings new genetics that offer high sugar and excellent revenue, along with good Aphanomyces tolerance and stronger vigor and emergence.

SX 1898 is a high-sugar variety with very low loss to molasses. It offers excellent root aphid, Aphanomyces and Cercospora protection, as well as valuable genetics for early harvest acres.


Michigan and Ontario growers have watched Seedex genetics improve and exceed expectations, moving to the top in both the OVTs and Sugarbeet Advancement trials. Excellent performance of SX 1264 was evident in early harvest in 2020. High sugar content, root aphid tolerance, great yield, and strong tolerance to Cercospora, Aphanomyces and Rhizoctonia provide a foundation for success.

Seedex’s SX 2283 will likely be an approval variety, but it takes the strengths of SX 1264, adding better stability as measured in performance under a wide variety of conditions. As the new limited approval varieties are reported, growers should watch for SX 2297 and SX 2296N for even higher sugar content.

For growers looking for nematode tolerance, SX 1278N is an excellent choice.


New hybrid SX 1578N supply will increase for 2021, as it moves from being a limited market variety to fully approved. It’s the complete package, as it takes on rhizomania, curly top, nematodes and Rhizoctonia, with added root aphid tolerance. In addition, the high-sugar genetics bring higher ERS per acre, which fits right into Amalgamated Sugar’s initiative to increase factory output and grower payments with their high-sugar formula. It’s a winning variety across the board. Growers will want to order SX 1578N early, as it sold out in 2020 and will likely be in high demand again.

In summary, Seedex is dedicated to research and has a long tradition of offering high sugar purity, yield and disease tolerance. Seedex advises growers every year to identify what they need and consider putting a Seedex variety on the farm to help spread the risk and bring the best return.