KWS underscores its innovation leadership in Sugarbeet: First varieties with significantly improved Cercospora tolerance approved in Germany

Einbeck, February 10, 2021

After intensive research and development work, KWS breeding has succeeded in detection a new, highly effective source of Cercospora resistance and making it available to sugarbeet growers under the CR+TM label. The resulting varieties INSPIREA KWS and BLANDINA KWS have now been approved by the German authority (Bundessortenamt). They are characterized by the highest leaf health under Cercospora and high yields under growing conditions with and without Cercospora.

“The new Cercospora trait truly represents a milestone for classic sugarbeet breeding,” says Dr. Andreas Loock, Head of International Sugarbeet Breeding at KWS. “This is an important contribution to a sustainable agriculture and secures the profitability of sugarbeet cultivation for the future.”

The leaf disease Cercospora beticola is one of the world’s most harmful fungal diseases for sugarbeets: The fungus can result in yield losses of up to 50 percent. There is a moderate to high incidence of infection for around two-thirds of cultivated areas worldwide. Against the background of increasing regulations on pesticides and the increasing resistance of the pests to fungicides, the cultivation of healthy varieties with high Cercospora tolerance is gaining in urgency and importance. The new KWS CR+TM varieties offer the potential to significantly reduce the use of fungicides in terms of sustainable agriculture.

The new varieties with CR+TM take its place alongside a range of innovative developments in KWS sugarbeet breeding. With the CONVISO® SMART system, which is already available in 24 countries, the company has also developed an effective and efficient option for weed control in sugarbeet cultivation, which at the same time enables the use of herbicides to be significantly reduced.

About KWS*
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies. More than 5,700 employees in 70 countries generated net sales of around €1.3 billion in fiscal 2019/2020. A company with a tradition of family ownership, KWS has operated independently for more than 160 years. It focuses on plant breeding and the production and sale of seed for corn, sugarbeet, cereals, vegetables, rapeseed and sunflowers. KWS uses leading-edge plant breeding methods to continuously improve yield for farmers and plants’ resistance to diseases, pests and abiotic stress. To that end, the company invested more than €200 million last fiscal year in research and development.

* All figures excluding the shares of the equity-accounted companies AGRELIANT GENETICS LLC., AGRELIANT GENETICS INC. and KENFENG – KWS SEEDS CO., LTD.

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