Breeding, Most viewed stories, News May 2024, North America, Varieties

Shifting landscapes: The next generation of high-performance potato variety releases for American growers

“When I was young, I lived on a farm 30 miles from the nearest city. It was a whole-day experience just to go grocery shopping and an ordeal if something broke down and we needed parts. My nearest neighbors were at least 2 miles away down a bumpy gravel road that was used by tractors and other equipment, and not necessarily safe for a 10-year-old to take a nice bike ride,” writes Rhett Spear, Assistant Professor / University of Idaho Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, in this article published by AG PROUD.

Spear goes on to say that “now, decades later, as I drive around the valley, it seems that I see just as many houses being planted into former fields as I do potatoes. This resulting decrease in farmable land means that growers are tasked with accomplishing the often-used adage of producing more with less. Adopting new varieties has given growers some low-hanging fruit to help boost production”.

The Northwest Potato Variety Development Program, a collaboration between the University of Idaho, Washington State University, Oregon State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), was initiated in 1983. The focus of the program is to provide up-to-date potato varieties that will directly benefit all segments of the potato industry.

The variety development program typically releases, on average, at least one variety per year to the industry based on agronomic, storage, and packing and processing improvements over commonly grown varieties. The most recent releases exhibit useful traits like disease resistance, cold-sweetening resistance and improved yields.

Rhett Spear’s article contains pictures and brief descriptions of the following potato varieties: Galena Russet, Rainier Russet, Becca Rose, Echo Russet, A12305-2adg, and AFA5661-8.

Source: AG PROUD. Read the full article here
Cover image: Rainier Russet. Photo courtesy of the Potato Variety Management Institute.

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