Jun 15 2020

Stress-busting in sugar beet

Boost beet health with Bridgeway/Zonda

With the record breaking drought conditions of May and below average rainfall so far in June, sugar beet crops have struggled to get off to the best start. Whilst water stress will impact yield potential in all crops, sugar beet is particularly sensitive to abiotic stress, which decreases photosynthesis, canopy expansion, root growth and sucrose accumulations. These implications are already evident in many sugar beet crops now, with fields showing extremes of growth stages of 2 to 16 true leaves. 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.

Getting crops back on track with stress-busting biostimulants Bridgeway and Zonda will help to ensure profitability remains viable for the rest of the season.

How Bridgeway and Zonda can help

Biostimulants Bridgeway and Zonda contain crucial amino acids and signalling peptides that play a vital role in signalling healthy growth and development. Perhaps more importantly, they are also now proving indispensible in helping crops cope better with abiotic stress. Over the last 3 years, Bridgeway and Zonda have demonstrated significant yield improvements in replicated trials. Test digs in commercial field situations back up the independent trials by showing up to +23.4 t/ha yield increase (adjusted). These have often, but not exclusively, co-incided with periods of drought stress.

Water shortage has a significant impact on beet health and plant physiology. Photosynthesis, crucial for the production of sucrose, is also highly dependent on the plant’s water supply. Crops treated with Bridgeway/Zonda have a more well developed root system which are therefore more efficient at extracting water and nutrients from depth. By increasing chlorophyll production Bridgeway/Zonda also help the crop to harness light energy more efficiently, which has sometimes resulted in improvements in sugar content at harvest.

Fast to act, applying Bridgeway/Zonda now will help crops to access much needed moisture and nutrients, improve metabolic efficiency and also improve the tolerance of the crop to stress. Maintaining applications to help mitigate against crop stress until crops meet in the rows will further help to protect yield and build sugars.

Relief for drought stressed sugar beet crops

In 2017 Bridgeway was applied to 6 hectares of KWS Darnella at 2 true leaves and 6 true leaves to help alleviate the effects of drought stress. Two weeks after the application of Bridgeway, treated beet looked greener and healthier. The beet crop went on to produce more biomass and produced bigger tap roots than the untreated control. Further test digs in August and September revealed Bridgeway treated beet was both bigger and heavier.

Bridgeway treated beet looked greener

Effect of Bridgeway in Sugar Beet

Bridgeway applied to half the field to assess ability to reduce stress. Bridgeway applied solo in split application. Bridgeway applied at 3.0 L/ha at 2 true leaves and 6 true leaves.

Test dig - more biomass above ground, bigger tap root

Effect of Bridgeway on Sugar Beet

Field visit 31st June 2017, 4 wks after T2. Photo courtesy of agronomist.

No visible canopy difference in August

Effect of Bridgeway on Sugar Beet

Below ground, Bridgeway treated beet was bigger and heavier

Effect of Bridgeway on Sugar Beet

Test digs taken from representative areas of the field chosen by the agronomist. Field visit 18th September 2017 prior to lifting. Bridgeway beet (left) is a mean 2.4 cm longer, 0.6 cm wider and weighed in 41% heavier.
Improvements in bulking after 53 days with no rain

In 2018, Bridgeway was put to the test on farm in two different sugar beet varieties. After 53 days without rain, crops showed a severe lack of bulking. Bridgeway was applied at 2.0 L/ha at the 2-4 true leaf stage and again at 6-8 true leaves to help stimulate growth and help the crop recover from drought stress. Visually, no above ground differences were observed, but below ground, test digs of 15 plants in 4 different locations of the field revealed an 18.6% increase in beet weight in cv. Hayden, and a 15.7% increase in the second variety. 

16-19% increase beet test dig yield

Bridgeway was applied to help against drought stress

Bridgeway applied at 2.0 L/ha.

No above ground visual differences

Bridgeway applied to 2 different varieties

Bridgeway increased test dig yields in both varieties - by 16-19%

Effect of Bridgeway on Sugar Beet weight (kg)

15 beet x 3-4 replicates. Test digs taken from representative areas of the field chosen by the grower.
In 2019 on farm, Bridgeway increased margin over input cost by £418/ha

Good Bridgeway responses in Sugar Beet

Bridgeway has increased yields significantly in CMI sugar beet trials the last 2 years

A 2 year appraisal of Bridgeway in Sugar Beet

Performance in other crops

Get in touch

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

For all other general enquiries, please email or call us at the office. If you’d prefer, drop us a message using our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Technical Enquiries
General Enquiries
Contact form

Let’s grow together, sign up!

(Sign up to our monthly newsletter)