Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; email@example.com
Spring and Fall beet variety trials were conducted in 2018 at the University of Delaware research farm near Georgetown, DE.
Varieties Evaluated and Sources
|3×5||D&D Seed Co||Red Globe F1|
|3×11||D&D Seed Co||Red Globe F1|
|Avalanche||Bejo Seeds||White Globe OP|
|Bohan||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe F1|
|Boldor||Bejo Seeds||Yellow Globe OP|
|Boro||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe F1|
|Bresko||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe F1|
|Falcon||Sakata||Red Globe F1|
|Kestrel||Sakata||Red Globe F1|
|Manolo||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe F1|
|Merlin||Sakata||Red Globe F1|
|Moneta||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe OP|
|Pablo||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe F1|
|Red Ace||Sakata||Red Globe F1|
|Red Atlas||D&D Seed Co||Red Globe F1|
|Red Cloud||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe F1|
|Red Kite||Sakata||Red Globe F1|
|Red Titan||D&D Seed Co||Red Globe F1|
|Soldier||Bejo Seeds||Red Globe OP, Red Foliage|
|Taunus||Bejo Seeds||Red Elongated F1|
Materials and Methods
There were 20 beet varieties entered and planted in both a spring and a fall trial in 2018. Seeds of each variety were direct seeded at a ½” depth with a plate type push planter to achieve 12 seeds per foot. The spring trial was planted on April 23 and the fall trial was planted on August 10. The soil was a Hammonton loamy sand. In the spring trial Plots were 2 rows, 15’ long with 30” between rows. In the fall trial plots were 1 row 40’ long with 30” between rows. Narrow rows were not used due to the need to mechanically cultivate with available equipment. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with 6 replications in the spring and 4 replications in the fall. Herbicides applied were: Ro-Neet 2 qt./a preplant incorporated and Spin-Aid 2 pints/a postemergence. Fertilizer applied preplant included 50 lbs. N and 140 lbs. K20 per acre with 3 lbs. of B. Additional N was applied at a rate of 50 lbs. N per acre 6 weeks after planting. Five weekly applications of Dipel insecticide were made from week 3 in each trial. Fungicide was applied two times and consisted of azoxystrobin (Quadris) plus copper. Irrigation was provided by overhead sprinklers (linear system). Plots were cultivated twice and were also hand weeded in the row.
Plots were harvested starting July 5 in the spring trial and November 19 in the fall trial. Taunus, Boldor, and Soldier were not harvested in the fall trial due to lack of size (did not reach harvest maturity). A 10’ section of row was harvested in both rows in the spring trial and a 20’ section of row was harvested in the fall trial. Beets were pulled by hand, tops removed and weighed and then roots counted and graded into small (1-2” diameter), medium (2-3” diameter) and large (>3” diameter) grades. Each grade was then weighed. Selected beets from each replication were cut, juice extracted, and then measured for soluble solids using a refractometer. Roots were also evaluated for uniformity of size (1-10 with 10 being all the same size), uniformity of shape (1-10 with 10 being all the same shape), exterior appearance (1-10 with 10 being excellent appearance) and interior color (1-10 with 10 being excellent color appropriate for the variety). Tops were evaluated for leaf disease in the spring planting (1-10 with 10 being disease free).
The spring planting received 2.5 inches of rainfall one day after planting and emergence was delayed and stand reduced due to surface compaction which reduced yields. Kestrel had the highest yield (15.2 tons/a). Other varieties with yields above 11 tons per acres were 3×5, 3×11, Red Ace, Red Kite, Bohan, Pablo, Avalanche (white), Red Cloud, Red Atlas, and Bresko. This group ranged from 11.1 to 13.8 tons/a. Low yielding varieties under 7 tons/a were Soldier (red leaf type) and Boldor (yellow root type). In the fall trial, stands were thicker than desired (not thinned) so roots were smaller; however, yields were good. Those varieties in the fall trial with yield greater or equal to 20 tons per acre included Falcon, Red Ace, 3×11, Red Atlas, Boro, 3×5, and Merlin (range from 22.3 to 20.0 tons per acre). Those varieties yielding under 20 tons/a were Bresko, Bohan, Manolo, Pablo, and Moneta (14.2, 14.0, 13.8, 12.7, and 12.6 tons/a respectively).
In the spring planted trial, Red Ace had the highest number of harvested beets per plot (42) followed by Kestrel (34), 3×11 (32), and 3×11 (31). The varieties 3×5, 3×11. Bohan, Boro, Falcon, and Red Atlas had over 2000 g/plot in the large size grade; 3×5, 3×11, Falcon, Kestrel, and Red Kite had over 2000 g/plot in the medium size grade, and 3×5, 3×11, and Kestrel had over 1700 g/plot in the small size grade. The most vigorous tops by weight were 3×5, 3×11, Bohan, Falcon, Kestrel, Red Kite, and Soldier (all over 2000 g/plot). In the fall trial, Red Atlas had the highest number of harvested beets per plot (94) followed by Red Ace (91), Red Titan (89), 3×11 (83), Merlin (83), Pablo (82) and Falcon (80). Falcon had the highest weight of large beets (1086 g/plot), Red Titan had the highest weight of medium beets (2050 g/plot), and Red Atlas had the highest weight of small beets (4245 g/plot). Falcon and Kestrel had the most vigorous tops by weight (6014 and 5030 g/plot respectively).
In the spring planted trial, Avalanche, Pablo, Red Ace, and Red Titan had the most uniform root sizes and shapes (above 5 rating for both). 3×5, 3×11, Red Atlas, and Red Cloud had the least foliar disease (rating above 6). Moneta had the best exterior root appearance (rating of 6.5) and Bresko, Moneta, and Pablo had a rating of over 8 for interior root appearance. Varieties in the spring trial with a brix % over 6 were Boro, Bresko, Falcon, Kestrel, Red Atlas, and Soldier. In the fall trial, 3×11, Moneta, and Red Titan had the most uniform root size and shape ratings (above 6). The varieties 3×5, Manolo, Red Ace, Red Atlas, and Red Titan had the best exterior root appearance (all above 6). Avalanche, Kestrel, Moneta, and Red Cloud had the best interior root appearance (all above 6). The varieties with the highest brix % were Merlin (7.2), Falcon (6.5), Manolo (6.5), Red Atlas (6.5), Kestrel (6.3) and Pablo (6.3).
These trials showed that beets could be successfully grown to commercial yields under Delaware conditions in both spring-planted for summer harvest and summer-planted for fall harvest.
Red Titan, Falcon, Soldier (Bulls Blood), Taunus (long), Boldor (yellow), and Avalanche (white) beets from left to right.
Red Ace, 3×11, Boro, and Red Atlas beets