Breeding, Research, Varieties

Potato breeding update from Cornell University

Walter De Jong, Cornell UniversityWalter De Jong, Associate Professor at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Sciences, Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, has been researching potatoes at Cornell for more than 15 years. Potatoes have been bred at Cornell for at least 50 years, De Jong says, and 70% of the university’s breeding efforts are focused on developing new chip varieties, while 30% is dedicated to various fresh market classes. The program primarily breeds varieties suitable for the Northeast, or within a 500-mile radius of the breeding facility in Ithaca, NY. Breeding efforts differ for fresh and processed markets. For the fresh market, areas of interest include developing varieties that look attractive, taste good, and yield well enough that growers will want to grow them, according to De Jong.
“For chipping varieties, we’re trying to develop round, white varieties that have relatively high starch content that don’t accumulate much sugar during cold storage,” he says. More

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