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Dutch Sugar Beets Show Leaf-Yellowing After Wet Summer

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch sugar-beet is suffering from leaf yellowing, generally a sign something is wrong with the crop, industry researcher IRS said.

Beet plots across the country show yellowing, which could be caused by excess water in soils as well as a fungal disease called stemphylium leaf spot, Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands-based IRS said today in a report on its website.

The Netherlands is the European Union’s fifth-largest sugar-beet grower after France, Germany, the U.K. and Poland, data from the bloc show. The country had a wet summer, with rainfall in the June to August period on average 27 percent higher than normal, Dutch weather office data show.

“Problems with soil structure are often and dramatically visible this year,” IRS wrote. “Often this results in water nuisance in places. This leads to a lack of oxygen that causes the yellowing.”

Stemphylium leaf spot is being found in all regions, with many notifications of the fungal disease, the IRS wrote. The disease was first found in the Netherlands in 2007 in the northeastern growing regions, and has since been found across the country, according to the researcher.

The fungal disease that first shows up as yellow spots on the plant can kill sugar beet leafs, and fungicides approved in the Netherlands for use on beets have either no or limited efficacy against stemphylium, according to the IRS.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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