Evaluation of eight table beet varieties for stand, disease resistance, and cultural characteristics

G. McAvoy, Christian Miller, R. N. Raid

Abstract


Table beets (Beta vulgaris) are one of the most popular food items sold at local farmer’s markets throughout the nation. Containing high levels of Vitamin C, iron and magnesium, table beets are savored for both their sweet roots and their attractive yet flavorful tops. In many areas, crop stand becomes an issue due to the susceptibility of young seedlings to damping-off, caused by Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia, two genera of fungal pathogens that are ubiquitous in distribution. Foliarly, Cercospora leaf spot, incited by the fungal pathogen Cercospora beticola Fuckel, is widely regarded as the most important disease of beets worldwide. Favored by warm, humid conditions, Cercospora leaf spot is particularly a problem in the southeast U.S. While cultural characteristics and yield are typically the major factors in selecting which variety to plant, disease resistance should also be considered, particularly if grown for organic production.

 


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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283