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Potato varieties ready for a changing climate: Insights from Elora Research Open House in Canada

Climate change resiliency and early potato dying studies were highlights of the Aug. 23 Elora Potato Research Open House during the annual Potato Research Day hosted at the University of Guelph in Canada, as Diana Martin reports for Farmtario.

Diana reports that Vanessa Currie, University of Guelph potato breeding technician, told attendees that the five-year research study on which varieties hold up best under increasing climate pressures was launched this year.

“One of the end goals is to release varieties for sustainability and resilience to climate change,” said Currie. Some varieties are nearing release for commercial use, she added.

“Some of the chip lines we’ve been testing for a couple of years for the early chip market do look very promising; 66-04 and 32-06 from the national breeding program.”

Targeted for the early chip market from day one, the two varieties have shown good yields and nice chip production at 90 days maturity in Leamington trials.

At the Simcoe potato research plot, a study on early potato dying spearheaded by Katerina Jordan and graduate student Griffin Bailey investigates how soil mitigation strategies could reduce nematode and verticillium inoculum in the highly susceptible Superior variety.

“We’re looking at different cropping, like rotational crops, potential biofumigants, cover crops and winter crops,” said Jordan, noting the rotation could be a one-, two- or three-year cycle with bare ground or alternative crops between potato crops.

Source: Farmtario. Read the full story on Farmtoria here
Photo: Patrick Gilbert, Loblaws vendor development, right, cuts open a potato variety at the Elora Research Station to check the flesh while a colleague records first impressions during the annual Potato Research Day. Credit for the photo: Diana Martin

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