Apr 26 2021

Beet stress this spring with Bridgeway

Beet stress this spring with Bridgeway

With sugar beet crops particularly prone to abiotic stress, and an already stressy start to the new season, amino acid biostimulant Bridgeway could be a vital tool for growers looking to beat stress and protect potential.

Establishing a fit, healthy and stress-free sugar beet crop from the get-go sets the foundation for high-yielding beat crops with robust sugars. High yields come from producing a full leaf canopy that intercepts 90% of incoming sunlight as quickly as possible and maintains its greenness right through the growing season.

Download Bridgeway sugar beet guide here to learn more

Abiotic stresses impacting beet health:

  • Cold temperatures impact establishment
  • Water stress limits leaf and tap root growth
  • High temperatures and UV become additional stresses in a drought
  • N shortage impacts top and root growth

Whilst abiotic stress will impact yield potential in all crops, sugar beet is particularly sensitive. Beet production can be detrimentally affected by insufficient water and extreme temperatures, resulting in decreased rates of photosynthesis, canopy expansion, root growth and sucrose accumulation. These implications are already evident in many sugar beet crops now, with fields showing extremes of growth stages and crops struggling in places. This has not been helped by what the Met Office has described as the coldest start to April since 2013, with mean temperatures widely 2-4 oC below average, frequent overnight frosts and the month exceptionally dry – some places barely seeing a drop of rain.

Getting crops back on track with biostimulant Bridgeway (or Zonda) will ensure profitability remains viable for the rest of the season.

Bridgeway benefits

Beet stress this spring with Bridgeway


Stress-busting biostimulant Bridgeway is an indispensible weapon for sugar beet growers to beet stress and maximise profitable sugar beet production. Bridgeway treated plants may not always be looking too much different above ground, but its whats happening below that counts.

Containing crucial amino acids and signalling peptides (small chains of amino acids), Bridgeway (and Zonda) improve root and shoot growth, increase the rate of photosynthesis and help crops to overcome abiotic stress. Fast to act, applying Bridgeway/Zonda now will help crops to access much needed moisture and nutrients from depth, improve metabolic efficiency and also improve the tolerance of the crop to stress. The application of Bridgeway to stressed crops has always resulted in an improvement in crop health. Maintaining applications to help mitigate against crop stress will help to protect yield and build sugars as the season develops.

Improves establishment & growth


Stimulates root & shoot growth

Bridgeway contains crucial signalling amino acids and peptides which play a vital role in signalling healthy growth and development. Crops treated with Bridgeway have a more well developed root system which are therefore more efficient at extracting water and nutrients from depth. Bridgeway also contains 5% organic N which supports the crop’s high N demand early on. 




Stress recovery & resilience

Bridgeway is highly effective at helping sugar beet to both recover from stress and build resilience to abiotic stresses. During drought stress proline and glycine help the crop to cope better with stress and help in cell turgor and osmotic balance protection. 

Builds tolerance to stress

Beet stress this spring with Bridgeway

Higher photosynthetic efficiency & sugars

Beet stress this spring with Bridgeway



Increases the rate of photosynthesis

By increasing chlorophyll production Bridgeway helps sugar beet crops to harness light energy more efficiently. This is particularly important during periods of stress and can lead to increases in both yield and sugars. 


Tried and tested

The benefits of Bridgeway have been well proven in sugar beet over the last 3 years, with increases in both yield and sugars in replicated field trials and on-farm.

Download our Bridgeway guide here to find out more or continue below.

Bridgeway increased canopy & tap root size

Bridgeway treated LHS, Untreated RHS
Bridgeway treated LHS, Untreated RHS

In 2017, soil conditions became very dry in May on a heavy land field of KWS Darnella sugar beet in Lawshall in Suffolk. Bridgeway was applied to half the field to assess its ability to help reduce crops stress. The Bridgeway was applied at 2 true leaves (TL) on 17th May and a follow up application made at 6TL on 31st May. 

A field visit by the agronomist on 12th June (12 days after the second application) revealed visual differences – Bridgeway treated beet looked greener (- left picture above).

At a second agronomist field visit on 31st June (4 weeks after the second application), pulling plants showed that Bridgeway treated beet had more biomass – the canopy was bigger and the tap root was bigger (right picture above).

Bridgeway treated LHS, Untreated RHS
Bridgeway treated LHS, Untreated RHS

By 10th August, there were no visual differences above ground that could be easily seen between the Bridgeway treated and non-biostimulant treated beet.

However, test digs and measurements by the agronomist Ryan Baker at Frontier, showed Bridgeway treated beet was longer and wider, and the Bridgeway beet was heavier.

No above ground visible benefits but higher yields & margins

On-farm tramline trials conducted by Frontier Agronomist Max Howlett in 2019 showed Bridgeway increased yields of a commercial sugar beet crop by 23.4 t/ha and delivered a margin over input cost benefit of £418/ha. 

Read Max’s case study here: 

Good Bridgeway responses in Sugar Beet

Significant yield & margin benefits in 2 years of field trials 

In independent trials conducted by CMI Ltd in 2018 and 2019 (two very different years from a weather and stress point of view), Bridgeway increased sugar beet yields and margins and these increases were statistically significant in both years.

2019 results:

2018 results:

Conclusions from 2 years of trials

  • 2018 & 2019 visual observations were no indicator of what was happening below ground
  • Green scans nor dig weights of canopies showed significant difference
  • 2018 & 2019 yield improvements surprising
  • 2018 explained by hot, droughty conditions, but 2019?
  • 2018 & 2019 showed the same trend in yield increases
  • 3 applications of Bridgeway optimal

View the full report prepared by CMI Ltd below:

A 2 year appraisal of Bridgeway in Sugar Beet

Beet stress this spring with Bridgeway

For more information on abiotic stress implications in sugar beet, how Bridgeway can help and how to use, download our Bridgeway guide here.


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Require technical assistance or product information? Please get in touch with our Technical Manager, Stuart Sutherland.

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