Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2013
Publication Date: 7/30/2013
Citation: Tarkalson, D.D., Eujayl, I.A., King, B.A. 2013. Drought resistant sugar beets. Sugar Journal. 76:32-33.
Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract: Increased water demands and drought have resulted in a need to indentify crop hybrids that are drought tolerant, requiring less irrigation to sustain yields. This study was conducted to assess differences in drought tolerance among a group of genetically diverse sugarbeet hybrids. The study was conducted over three consecutive growing seasons (2008-2010) at the USDA Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory in Kimberly, ID on a Portneuf silt loam soil (coarse-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Durinodic Xeric Haplocalcid). Drought tolerance was evaluated by measuring sucrose yield production of six experimental hybrids of KWS SAAT AG and one commercial hybrid (Betaseed Inc.) under six water input treatments. Hybrid drought tolerance was evaluated by linear regression analysis (slope and intercept) of yield versus water input, calculation of a drought stress index (DSI), and comparison of yield potential under full irrigation. The water input treatments were based on a percentage of estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc). Water input treatments were 125% ETc (W1), 100 percent ETc (W2), 75 percent ETc (W3), 50 percent ETc (W4), 25 percent ETc (W5) and rain-fed (W6). There were significant differences in overall yield potential and in the sucrose yield response to water among hybrids. Greater drought tolerance or greater difference in sucrose yield between hybrids was seen at the lowest water input treatment (intercept difference). Greater drought tolerance was observed for the KWS-05 hybrid compared to the commercial hybrid. Based on these results it was concluded that there is genetic diversity among existing sugarbeet experimental hybrids.