PHD student at the University of Nottingham, Tamara Fitters, is working with the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) to understand why the roots of sugar beet take little water at depth. She started her project in 2014 and will be finishing in September 2018.
At REAP 2016, Tamara said that 10% of sugar beet yield is lost to drought, and that water uptake by sugar beet roots is minimal below 30 centimetres. A solution to improve water uptake could be discovered if the reasons for this issue are explored.
She is studying how tillage methods or soil management methods that can influence soil structure for water uptake. Also there is potential to breed drought tolerance in sugar beet varieties.