Early red-skinned potatoes were harvested at a greenhouse in Jõgeva on Thursday, and scientists will now determine which varieties give the best yield and are most resistant to the negative effects of indoor lighting, ERR News reports.
On December 13, five newly developed varieties of red-skinned potatoes were planted in pots in the Estonian Crop Research Institute (Eesti Taimekasvatuse Instituut) greenhouse. Now it is time to measure and weigh them, ETV’s “Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK) reported on Thursday.
The institute will test the potatoes for resistance to light and it is not impossible that Estonian early yellow potatoes will be replaced by reds in the coming years.
Kalle Hamburg, board member of AS Talukartul board member, told AK that although early potato varieties harvested and sold in stores in Estonia are predominantly yellow in color, the result of the breeding process has been that their skins have become too thin, which does not protect the tuber adequately from light.
“Maybe there is a way out in the red potato. Here in the greenhouse the potatoes’ properties will be determined. Then the tubers will be placed in the light and compared to see if one variety is more durable than another, because in stores, the potatoes and vegetables are displayed with bright light, but potatoes do not like light,” Hamburg said.
Terje Tähtjärv, a researcher at the institute said four of the five varieties tested are sure to be recommended to potato growers.
“The Evolution variety turned out to be the best. I don’t have any field experience with it right now, but I hope I can trial it in the field this year,” Tähtjärv said.
Tähtjärv said that although open-field and controlled growing conditions are not quite comparable, tests undertaken in a greenhouse give an idea of the potato varieties which are worth investing in in the future.