The Syndrome Basses Richesses (SBR) is a bacterial disease transmitted to beets by the planthopper Pentastiridius leporinus. The planthopper infects the crop during the summer before laying eggs in the soil. The larvae will then develop by feeding on the beet roots, then on the following crop until their emergence flight in spring.
Within the framework of a research network on sugar beets, the BFH-HAFL conducted field trials, financed by the Swiss Beet Center (SFZ/CBS) and the BFH-HAFL, to study the influence of the crop following sugar beets on the development of the planthopper P. leporinus. The emergence of planthoppers was compared between a maize crop and a winter cereal.
The maize cultivation allowed a decrease of more than 97% of the planthopper flights. The absence of crops, and therefore of food, stopped the development of the planthoppers during the winter.
It is therefore recommended to avoid winter cereals after sugar beet to control the transmission of SBR. It is necessary to implement this measure at a regional scale to be effective from now on.