The Roundup -

New Developments are Underway for the Sugarbeet Industry


A new herbicide tolerant trait for sugarbeet seed will be on the market in the next seven to ten years. KWS SAAT SE and Monsanto Company have partnered in the last year to develop a trait for beet seed that is tolerant to herbicides containing the active ingredients of glyphosate, glufosinate, and dicamba. Having a range of herbicides to use allows farmers to combat weeds that may become resistant to Roundup.

The Monsanto Company produces a variety of fruit, vegetable, and crop seeds that produce a higher yield while using resources such as water, more efficiently. They also work to optimize soil health, improve farming practices, conserve natural resources, and provide products that reduce crop damage from disease and pests. KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies, breeding, producing, and selling varieties of select seed. They use state-of-the-art technology to improve crop resistance to disease, pests, and abiotic stress.

The two companies partnered on the development of Roundup Ready Sugarbeets (beets that are genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide roundup), which were introduced in 2007. Roundup Ready Sugarbeets became the fastest adopted biotech crop to date. The seed has revolutionized the sugarbeet industry, saving farmers in labor costs as they no longer need to hire fieldworkers to weed by hand. It is expected to be available to all sugarbeet seed companies.

As with Roundup Ready Beets, new technology will be advantageous to the environment, as well.

“The better weeds are controlled, the more money farmers will save. They will use less diesel because they won’t have to drive over their fields as many times to apply herbicides,” said Betaseed Sales Manager Steve Skaalure. “We’re always looking at new and better varieties that will produce better yields, and through traits offer more weed resistance. Developing a new seed is the next step. This will allow farmers to continue to make gains in the industry.”


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