Two new potato varieties with ties to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Aberdeen are poised to be released soon by the Tri-State Potato Research and Breeding Program.
John O’Connell reports for Idaho State Journal that the initial cross for Rainier Russet was made at the Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research center in Aberdeen. Oregon State University chose to retain the cross and advance it through its program and will be the lead institution behind the release, anticipated to occur later this year.
Rich Novy, the USDA-ARS potato breeder in Aberdeen, believes Rainier will be well suited for both the fresh and processed potato markets. It’s a cross of Canela Russet and an Aberdeen breeding clone.
The second variety poised for release — NDA050237B-1R — is a vibrant, red clone that was crossed in North Dakota. The Aberdeen program, however, selected this specialty potato to be retained and advanced through the process.
“It’s got a really nice, deep-red skin color,” Novy said, adding it also yields a high percentage of medium-sized tubers, which are desirable in the specialty category.