Breeding, Europe, UK, Ireland, Varieties

Albert Bartlett to develop new potato varieties to replace Maris Piper

A UK leading potato supplier is looking to develop alternative varieties to the “customer favourite” Maris Piper. As Olivia Williams reports for the Liverpool Echo, it comes amid soaring costs and unreliable yield during weather extremes. Floods and droughts have plagued potato production over the past six years, with dwindling margins exacerbated by higher energy and fertiliser prices.

Farmers have been forced to reassess the production of potato varieties that are “agronomically challenging” and susceptible to financial loss. Paddy Graham-Jones, group procurement director for potato supplier Albert Bartlett, picked out the Maris Piper, King Edwards and Maris Peer as varieties in the crosshairs.

He said: “A number of varieties are ‘customers favourites’ King Edwards, Maris Piper, Maris Peer but are agronomically challenging to grow and so suffer in a risk/reward calculation as can be unattractive to growers to produce.”

Mr Graham-Jones added: “The financial loss of producing a crop of Maris Piper that does not make washed pre-pack grade, can be the difference between profit and loss for a grower.”

The Albert Bartlett agronomy team has been tasked with developing an alternative variety better suited to the current climate.

Source: Liverpool Echo. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit eKokki from Pixabay

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