The goal of the BC Seed Trials was to engage farmers in producing knowledge relevant to seed systems development in British Columbia. The central activity in this effort is a network of variety trials aimed at identifying superior crop varieties for fresh market farming and seed production. This report covers variety trials conducted in 2016 at the University of British Columbia Farm (UBC Farm) and on a group of organic and conventional farms, primarily in the BC Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. More information about the BC Seed Trials can be found at www.bcseedtrials.ca.
Golden and Chioggia beets (Beta vulgaris) were chosen for this project in 2016 because of their unique appearance, which may give them niche value as seed crops for BC. The Pacific Northwest of the US is a key region of global beet seed production, and with similar climate conditions BC is well positioned to produce this biennial seed crop. Golden beets are known to have poor germination, an important production challenge. Priority traits for this trial included:
Smooth, uniform, and globe-shaped roots with few root hairs