NovaChem > Industry News > 2020 > Adama provides extra options for beet growers

Adama provides extra options for beet growers

Published on 04/12/2020

Right on time for the 2020/21 season, crop protection company Adama New Zealand has introduced a new tool to support farmers growing fodder and sugar beet. Foliar fungicide Custodia not only provides robust leaf protection, but has a withholding period of just 28 days, compared with the industry standard of 42 days. Custodia is effective against beet foliar diseases including powdery mildew, rust, and the fungal pathogen Cercospora leaf spot which can cause significant yield losses if unchecked.

Custodia’s release comes on the back of a season characterised by dry spells and droughts, which had farmers and advisors weighing up their options. Adama NZ marketing manager ElisabethJohnston says beet producers are also increasingly recognising the importance of leaf quality. While the focus was previously on bulb weight, poor leaf vigour has a knock-on effect. “When the leaves are diseased, there’s reduced photosynthesis. That has an impacton crop growth, yield, leaf palatability, and stock health.” 

Strong beet leaf production adds to the crop’s dry matter and provides stock with protein, phosphorous and calcium. Johnston says the protein from healthy leaves helps provide nutritional balance in beet crops, reducing the risk of metabolic issues. “It will not be enough on its own, but it definitely does help.”

Bryce Simpson, Adama NZ commercial manager, says Custodia did a “fantastic” job in the company’s trials. “You could see the textbook, checkerboard effect between the treated and untreated plots. The foliage on the treated plots was clean of disease and a healthy green with a significantly greater number and volume of leaves.”

Simpson says high value beet provides farmers with a flexible feed option. “The potential grazing or harvest window for beet is quite wide. And when a farmer needs to get as much feed as they can per hectare, then fodder beet is a good choice.” He says a shorter withholding period is a big factor when feed is tight. “Two weeks when feed is short can be like a lifetime.” 

Adama NZ has an extensive beet protection toolbox with Custodia being one of two products launched for 2020/21. The other is Goltix Gold. This beet herbicide has a unique formulation which reduces the hazard profile without compromising the proven efficacy in controlling hard-to-kill weeds of its industry-standard parent Goltix Flo. In fact, it is even more effective on fathen and wireweed.

With beet yellow virus becoming a significant issue, particularly in Canterbury, insecticide Pyrinex 500EC is also part of the specialist beet portfolio. Pyrinex 500EC can be used to control aphids, which transmit the virus in beet. Other products in the Adama beet programme include Goltix WG Herbicide, Goltix Uno Herbicide, Ethosat Herbicide, and Rifle. For more information, visit or talk to your local advisor.

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