With the 2021 sugar beet contracting and seed ordering window about to open, agronomy firm Hutchinsons is recommending growers consider including the new Conviso herbicide tolerant variety Janninka in their planting list for next season.
The conventionally-bred hybrid, available through Hutchinsons, has been developed as part of a joint initiative between KWS and Bayer that also includes a post-emergence ALS herbicide (Conviso One) designed for exclusive use on tolerant Conviso varieties.
“Two varieties are available, Janninka and Rivetta, but we dismissed Rivetta on its bolting risk which is the highest of all varieties on the Recommended List” say Darryl Shailes, Hutchinsons crop technical manager.
The main point of difference of the Conviso Smart system is that it can control weedy beet. This is the first time growers are able to control weedy beet chemically in a sugar beet crop that would otherwise need to be hoed and pulled or weed wiped.
However, the system also promises to give growers greater flexibility around early spray timings and help mitigate the impact of losing vital chemistry, notably desmedipham, the loss of which could make weed control much more challenging next season
“It’s not just the loss of desmedipham that’s an issue, but the fact that we’ve also lost modern formulations, which means weed control is going back to basic formulations of older active ingredients that don’t give the same efficacy,” says Mr Shailes.
This is especially true for controlling larger weeds in cool, dry conditions, often experienced early in spring, where desmedipham performed well, but alternative herbicides may need to be applied at higher rates or in more complex mixes/sequences to achieve comparable results, increasing the risk of crop damage.
“We estimate herbicide cost will increase around £40-£50/ ha, with growers having to rely much more on residuals, but also to go across the field on a more regular basis,” comments Mr Shailes.
The Conviso system could help overcome many of these agronomic and crop safety issues, while delivering other management and timeliness benefits, he says.