Breeding Confidence

Published online: Nov 09, 2021 Feature, New Products, News
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This report appears in the November/December issue of Sugar Producer.

Betaseed is the sugarbeet seed industry’s leading sugarbeet brand in North America, devoted entirely to developing high-performing, multiple-disease-tolerant sugarbeet seed varieties. Plant breeders are bringing growers genetics with more value than ever before, accelerating productivity each time a new hybrid is introduced.

Breeding sugarbeets is a long-term commitment and takes a dedicated effort, often up to 10 years to develop a new hybrid. Betaseed’s industry-leading performance has resulted in strong disease tolerance, improved yields and higher revenues for North American sugarbeet growers.

Betaseed’s commercial seed harvest in August 2021 near Tangent, Ore.


Betaseed will continue to launch hybrids containing the KWS Cercospora tolerance trait, referred to as the CR+ trait, into the American Crystal and Western Sugar South markets for 2022 planting, pending approvals. Hybrids containing this trait were planted by growers in the Southern Minnesota, MinnDak and Michigan/Ontario growing areas in 2021. This trait showed tremendous performance in official variety trials, strip trials on farms, and now strong performance in grower’s fields. This will change the way growers manage Cercospora leaf spot disease in their fields, helping to increase productivity by keeping fields green with fewer sprays.

Margaret Rekoske, director of breeding at KWS Seeds, LLC, is one of the inventors involved with the creation of the new CR+ trait.

“KWS has demonstrated significant investment in the North American sugarbeet industry, and with this new CR+ trait continues to demonstrate this commitment to growers across the country,” says Mark Schmidt, vice president of sales at KWS Seeds.

Emasculating experimental seed in Kimberly, Idaho


Expected by the middle of the decade, Betaseed will also have access to a multiple-herbicide-tolerant sugarbeet trait being developed by KWS and Bayer. This new trait will be called Truvera, a truly versatile trait offering North American sugarbeet growers a complete weed management system with the flexibility of three modes of action. This new trait will give growers additional tools to efficiently manage weed populations.

Seed performance doesn’t just happen—it’s the product of years of breeding, testing, monitoring and seed enhancements that have sugarbeets performing consistently in growers’ fields year after year. Producing high-quality sugarbeet seed is the primary goal of seed production operations at Betaseed. The management of the quality process is completely controlled by customer-committed staff who work tirelessly to ensure that each seed lot meets or exceeds rigorous standards. Rigorous qualitative and quantitative tests are conducted to confirm that each seed lot meets the standards required by Betaseed when marketing and distributing Betaseed varieties.

Betaseed prides itself on offering productive genetics and traits that contribute to farm revenue and income. Each seed variety is bred to overcome diseases, pests and environmental obstacles that can negatively impact performance—and, ultimately, revenue. Each sales representative spends hours walking fields to make sure grower expectations are being met. The Betaseed brand difference is evident in each step of the company’s value chain reaching every sugarbeet grower across all 11 markets in North America

Collecting pollen from experimental Betaseed seed in Kimberly, Idaho

Automated weighing and filling of Betaseed seed in Tangent, Ore.