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Fodder Beet is one of the highest yielding forage options available to farmers.

Fodder Beet is a long growing-season crop which requires a high level of care in establishment but as it is not a brassica it is not as susceptible to the diseases that brassica is and once established is highly palatable to animals.

Fodder Beet requires a weed free, firm fine seedbed that is well drained with no sub soil compaction. Sowing is best in late September – mid November (soil temp 5 degrees Celsius, after the last frosts).

Sowing rate is recommended at 80,000 plants per hectare through a precision drill. If seed is sown using conventional drill then a higher seeding rate is needed to reduce gaps within the crop. Care is required when establishing a seed bed but after establishment the crop will tolerate moderate drought conditions better than forage plants currently used. To promote rapid establishment seed should be sown to a depth of 2-3cm, in drier seed beds you are best to sow slightly deeper so the seed can access as much moisture early on as possible. Fodder Beet is a demanding crop but if done properly can be extremely profitable.


The following three cultivars have been selected by Specialty Seeds as their preferred cultivars for the 2016/2017 fodder beet seed selling season. Following recent issues with some seed lines of fodder beet seed we have identified these three fodder beet cultivars as high DM producing types that have been proven in New Zealand trials with exceptional, and traceable, seed quality characteristics.


Recommended Fodder beet cultivars

*Please note, the below mentioned dry matter % are indications only. Specialty Seeds recommends testing all fodder beet paddocks prior to use for their dry matter percentage at that time.

Cultivar Product information
Betimo (New Product) Medium Dry Matter Type (14 – 16% DM)A newly bred variety, recently released for the first time in New Zealand in 2016. Betimo is a medium dry matter content, mono-germ fodder beet with large red tankard shaped bulbs. It has improved disease tolerance giving more clean, green leaf.
It has good bolting tolerance and can be grazed in-situ, or be lifted and fed whole or chopped.
For more information please download the Betimo Fodderbeet brochure.
Geronimo Medium Dry Matter Type (13-14% DM)
Suitable for either grazing or lifting Geronimo has a yellow and oval root shape that sits approx 45% out of the ground.
For more information please download the Geronimo Fodderbeet brochure.
Summo Medium dry matter type (14-16 %DM).
Suitable for grazing in situ or lifting. Summo has red conical roots with a very high dry matter yield potential. Summo is well liked by animals and has excellent disease resistance. Sits approx. 40% out of the ground.
For more information please download the Summo Fodderbeet brochure.

Specialty Seeds do have access to the other commercially available cultivars as mentioned below.


Other Fodder beet cultivars

Cultivar Product information
DLF Bangor Medium Dry Matter Type (17-18% Dry matter)
Bangor is an improvement of the illustrious/long-time acknowledged varieties Kyros and Troya – resulting in 10% yield increase and uniform root.
For more information please download the Bangor Fodderbeet brochure
Agriseeds Blizzard High Dry Matter Type (20-22% DM)
Blizzard is a white-skinned fodder beet with excellent leaf holding ability and disease resistance, which helps to maximize yield potential. It should be used when maximum yield/ha is sought from a lifted crop. Blizzard has performed very well in trials, with significantly higher total DM yield than low – medium DM cultivars. Blizzard is not recommended for grazing because it has a high proportion of the bulb in the ground, reducing utilization.

For more information please download the Blizzard Fodderbeet brochure

SF Brigadier Brigadier is an even lower dry matter type (up to 13%).
SF Brigadier has more root above the soil (65%) which enabling easy access to the crop when strip feeding. This is a better option for grazing and it is a softer bite, which is more suitable for feeding younger stock.
For more information please download the Brigidier Fodderbeet brochure
Agricom Cerise High Dry Matter Type (18 – 21% DM)
Cerise is a new breeding release with a uniform yellow/green tankard shaped bulb. True mono-germ cultivar with approximately 40-50% of bulb above ground and very good resistance to bolting
For more information please download the Cerise Fodderbeet brochure
DLF Enermax High Dry Matter Type (more root in the soil)
Enermax is a high dry matter type fodder beet (18-21%) that has been specifically bred for lifting and feeding to animals. This will replace the variety Magnum. Enermax has been shown to give a yield advantage over Magnum in New Zealand trials over the last 2 years.
For more information please download the Enermax Fodderbeet brochure
DLF Feldherr Low Dry Matter Type (12-15% DM bulb)
Feldherr is a high-yielding fodder beet with a light orange bulb colour. It has a low bulb drymatter percentage, which some farmers prefer for grazing, especially with animals breaking new teeth, or older animals with fewer teeth, and species such as deer.
For more information please download the Feldherr Fodderbeet brochure
Agricom Jamon High Dry Matter Type (16-18% dry matter)
Jamon is a very uniform, mono-germ cultivar that has been evaluated in New Zealand for a number of years. It is an orange skinned cultivar with a bulb drymatter percentage of between 16 -18%, similar to many current industry products. Jamon is French fodder beet breeders Florimond Desprez’s most popular product and with our New Zealand experience we believe it complements Agricom’s current fodder beet range. For more information please download the Jamon fodderbeet brochure.
DLF Kyros High Dry Matter Type (15-18%)
A very consistent, high yielding variety producing a clean, highly palatable and easily digestible root at harvest Kyros will provide a high energy feed whole or chopped.
For more information please download the Kyros Fodderbeet brochure
Cropmark Lactimo Medium Dry Matter Type (11- 13 %DM)
Lactimo is a medium dry matter, mono germ fodder beet with a tankard bulb that sits +/- 45% above the ground. Suitable for grazing or lifting Lactimo has strong foliar growth with good disease resistance with yellow/ orange bulbs. For more information please download the Lactimo Fodderbeet brochure
SF Lifta Medium – High Dry Matter Type (17 – 19% DM)
SF LIFTA™ is the latest in medium – high dry matter harvestable fodder beet, it offers excellent in-field performance.
SF LIFTA™ offers unsurpassed leaf quality and is very tolerant to leaf diseases particularly mildew and rust which can be prevalent in New Zealand conditions. Ideal for grazing and/or mechanical harvesting producing significant yields.
For more information please download the LIFTA Fodderbeet brochure
Agricom Monro Low Dry Matter Type (13 – 15%)
For more information please download the Monro Fodderbeet brochure
Agricom Ribambelle High Dry Matter Type (16 – 20%)
Ribambelle Was first commercially sown in New Zealand in the spring of 2015 where it showed excellent vigor and uniformity. It has a red bulb with a tankard shaped, and from above the bulb is somewhat square shaped. It has green leaves which have shown good disease tolerance to date.
For more information please download the Ribambelle Fodderbeet brochure
Agricom Rivage High Dry Matter Type (18 – 21%)
Rivage is one of the latest high-yielding fodderbeet cultivars from one of the world’s leading fodder beet breeding programmes.
For more information please download the Rivage Fodderbeet brochure
Agriseeds Robbos Medium/High Dry Matter Type (12 – 19%)
Robbos fodder beet has a medium to high Dry matteryield 12 – 19% with a clean yellow root ideal for dairy and beef production. Contact contact Specialty Seeds for more information
Agriseeds Ribondo Medium to High Dry Matter Type (18-20% DM)
Ribondo is a multi-purpose grazing or lifting fodder beet. Its uniform bulb shape and size, and erect leaves mean it is ideal for mechanical lifting. This makes Ribondo perfect for farms looking for flexibility in feeding a winter crop.
For more information please download the Ribondo Fodderbeet brochure
DLF Troya Medium Dry Matter Type (14-16% DM)
Troya has been very successful on many farms, and is used with many animal types and ages.
Troya is a hybrid cultivar with monogerm seed. This results in very even establishment of the desired plant population, maximising yield potential and enhancing weed control.
For more information please download the Troya Fodderbeet brochure


Sugar beet cultivars

Cultivar Product information
SF Suga Very High Dry Matter Type (23 – 26%)
SF SUGA is a new sugar beet variety with very high bulb dry matter. This helps ensure maximum harvestable yield and prolongs its storage ability. SF SUGA offers very good tolerance to the main beet diseases.
For more information please download the SF Suga Fodderbeet brochure


Other Fodderbeet varieties no longer available:

SF Blaze fodderbeet, DLF Magnum fodderbeet, Agricom Spendide fodderbeet, DLF Tintinel fodderbeet.


Please click here to view the Fodder beet information downloads.
If you would like to talk to someone more about whether Fodder Beet will suit your farm please click here to contact Specialty Seeds.