Research, Varieties

Canadian breeders develop higher yielding potato varieties

At a time when the Canadian potato industry is looking to get more potatoes out of the ground each fall at a lower cost of production, AAFC potato breeder Dr. Benoit Bizimungu and his team at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton have developed potatoes that offer up to a 30 per cent increase in yield. The potatoes are featured in the research centre’s annual release of new potato selections, being held this year on Feb. 11 at the Potato Research Centre, and by video link at Lethbridge Research Centre in Alberta, beginning at 10:30am Atlantic Standard Time.This year’s list of 16  selections include four for the French fry market, three for potato chip production, eight for the fresh market and two speciality coloured varieties. The coloured potatoes include a dark purple and a pink potato.

Genetically superior varieties with a potentially higher yield offer give farmers a competitive advantage because they can grow high quality potatoes on a smaller acreage with fewer resources – less fertilizer to apply, less pesticides to spray, and in some areas less irrigation. The selections also reflect the team’s focus on disease resistance and drought tolerance.

Potato breeders Dr. Benoit Bizimungu and Agnes Murphy will be available to talk to media about the selections.

Researcher Bernie Zebarth will talk about his research into how growers can increase their potato yields with compost. “Overcoming limitations to potato productivity: The New Brunswick experience.”

For more information please contact:
John Morrison
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Public Affairs Branch

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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