Southland Results (2017)

The 2017 Southland trial was located on a farm near Nightcaps in western Southland on a deep Auchreddief series 9 soil, and drilled on 9 October 2016. Seed was drilled at 90,000 seeds/ha with 50 cm row spacings.
Yield and plant numbers were measured on 16 May 2017. There were significant differences in yield between some cultivars of fodder beet (Fig. 1). The mean yield in the trial was 15.2 t DM/ha. This was lower than in 2016 as the 2017 trial was in a second-crop paddock that suffered from soil compaction, nutrient (N & S) leaching and nutrient uptake constraints, as well as violet root rot (see photo below).  Bulb dry matter content was higher than normal (2.4% points higher than the average of all DLF trials conducted to date).
Figure 1.  Mean yield at the Southland beet trial 2017
Photo:  Violet root rot (Rhizoctonia violacea) present in the Southland trial 2017.  This is a fungal disease that is favoured by consolidated soil, poor soil structure, and frequent cropping with susceptible crops.
Harvesting the 2017 trial.