seeds of vegetable crop species always present high commercial value, so the physiological potential must be efficiently evaluated. the controlled deterioration is a recommended test to evaluate seed vigor of small-seeded vegetable crops, such as beetroot seeds. this research was run in order to determine the best controlled deterioration test procedures for beetroot seeds and its relationship with field seedling emergence. seven commercial seed lots of the cultivar top tall early wonder were used. after washing in running water, the seeds were tested for germination, speed of germination, accelerated aging, seedling field emergence, emergence rate and controlled deterioration (41 and 45°c, moisture contents of 22, 24 and 26% and exposure times of 12, 24 and 36 hours). the combination of 41°c/24%/12 hours, 41°c/24%/36 hours, 41°c/26%/36 hours and 45°c/24%/24 hours showed potential to evaluate vigor of beetroot seeds. however, the combinations of 41°c/24%/12 hours or 45°c/24%/24 hours decreased the conduction time of the test.