Scientists will share insights to solve farmers' sugar beet challenges

Prof Mark Stevens of the British Beet Research Organisation in a sugar beet field. Picture: BBRO

Prof Mark Stevens of the Norwich-based British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) will be one of the speakers at the BeetTech22 event - Credit: BBRO

Specialist scientists will share the latest research on protecting East Anglia's sugar beet crops at a farming conference next week.

BeetTech22, organised by the Norwich-based British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO), will be held from 9am-12.45pm on February 8 at the Norfolk Showground.

A second event at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire on February 10 will also be live-streamed online for those who cannot attend in person.

The threat from virus yellows disease will be a key talking point, with BBRO head of science Prof Mark Stevens leading the discussion on "piecing together the puzzle" of crop protection.

That will include predictions of the 2022 disease risk, plus mitigation solutions which, following a government approval last month, could include the limited emergency use of banned neonicotinoid pesticides, if strict conditions and disease thresholds are met.

A PhD showcase will also explore advancements in new seed varieties and the latest trials and research to understand pests, diseases and resistance, while herbicide specialist Pam Chambers will give advice on optimising weed control and costs.

The BBRO said: "These will be our first major face to face events for some time, both being held in large open venues with plenty of space and good air circulation."