Varieties

A brief description of the most common potato varieties cultivated in India

In this article, author Sangeeta Soni provides a list and brief description of 14 most commonly grown potato varieties in India. She writes that potatoes have been cultivated in the country for at least the past 300 years. Three of the varieties that Soni describes briefly in her article is Kufri Sindhuri, Kufri Chandramukhi, and Kufri Jyoti.

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EU ‘ADAPT’ Project: Searching for stress-resistant potatoes

The ADAPT project aims at identifying new breeding targets and matching potato varieties to specific challenging environmental growth conditions of the future, according to a press release issued by the University of Vienna. The ADAPT consortium has successfully launched the project “Accelerated Development of multiple-stress tolerAnt PoTato”, which aims at developing new strategies to make potatoes fit for the challenging growth conditions of the future. It will take place over the next four years with a total budget of 5 million Euro from the EU Horizon 2020 program.

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Processing potato varieties yielding lower in Belgium, but fry quality is good

Late processing varieties are reportedly lower than the multi-year average yields in Belgium, but processed products are said to be of excellent quality. This became clear during trial digs of the Fontane and Challenger varieties. According to a report by Nieuwe Oogst journalist Han Reindsen, samples were taken on 10 and 11 August to evaluate the yield and quality of Fontane and Challenger. The total yield is said to be lower, but fry quality is good.

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‘It’s all in the name’: Potato variety company C. Meijer BV became ‘Meijer Potato’

It was announced earlier this week that renowned Dutch-based potato variety and seed company C. Meijer BV has re-branded its identity and will from now on be known as ‘Meijer Potato’. The new name is said to do justice to the company’s international scope and stature. Almost 90% of the company’s turnover is generated outside of the Netherlands. The company’s mission, “Everyone deserves to enjoy food”, reflects Meijer Potato’s ambition. The company says on its website it’s mission is to provide more people with the opportunity to enjoy food.

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Hot potatoes: Potato varieties suited for climate change

With climate change heating up Canada’s crop land, identifying or developing new potato varieties that can grow in warmer temperatures is on the radar of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers. Xiu-Qing Li of AAFC in Fredericton noticed that warmer summers are creating heat stress in Canadian potato crops. He began studying Canada’s current varieties to see which are the most heat-tolerant. He also hopes to identify the genes responsible for heat tolerance and to incorporate them into future varieties, either through genetic crosses or directional mutation.

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RPE to bring the new Golden Red premium potato variety to consumers this fall

Wisconsin-based RPE, Inc. — a full service grower, shipper, marketer of fresh potatoes — announced today that it is bringing a new, premium red potato variety to potato consumers this fall. “RPE Golden Red™ premium potatoes are the new gold standard in red potatoes,” said Tim Huffcutt, Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations for RPE. “Compared to common red potatoes, these superior stunners have a vibrant red skin with a rich, yellow interior and a sweet, creamy taste.”

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New study on measuring efficiency in potato landraces: How far are we from the optimum?

A new publication by scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) highlights the usefulness of combining crop growth model, remote sensing, and plant ecophysiological tools to assess genetic efficiencies in potato landraces. In order to improve potato yield and yield prediction, a better understanding of potato physiology and modeling is needed, especially for the Andean region where climate change is affecting traditional farming practices and where potato is a staple food.

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Some potato stories: A multiple tale of “anti-GMO” detrimental nonsense

The expression “genetically modified organisms” (“GMOs”) is not only void of scientific value, but has negative effects on agricultural progress and food policy, writes Giovanni Molteni Tagliabue in this article published by European Scientist. According to Tagliabue, “Anti-GMOers” show a “peculiar, recurrent absence of logic when they demonize “GMOs” as a supposed whole… Tagliabue then cite examples from the US, the UK and the European Union to back up his argument, saying that “These stories have surely shown that “GMO(s)” is a misleading notion, a damaging meme that should dissolve: in time, it will be considered a subject as interesting as the sex of angels used to be.”

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‘All hail the rise of the climate-smart potato’

The potential of the potato has only just begun to be realized, writes
Sandra Cordon in this article published by Landscape News. Some 368 million metric tons of potatoes were harvested globally in 2019, as people from Vietnam to Kenya, the Peruvian Andes to Rwanda produced a wide variety of the root vegetable, helping feed an estimated 1.3 billion people who rely on them as a staple food. And this is a minimum threshold – potato production is expanding across parts of Africa and Asia.

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Propagating potato via True Seed: NAPB Borlaug scholar Natalie Kaiser

The 2020 meeting of the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) continues! Borlaug Scholar Natalie Kaiser is a Ph.D candidate in the Potato Breeding and Genetics Program at Michigan State University. Kaiser is employing molecular and genomic tools to understand the genetic architecture of host plant insect resistance and to develop Colorado potato beetle (CPB) resistant diploid potato breeding lines.

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Agrico UK steps up technical support for seed growers

With the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) having to cut back its inspection programme in the midst of continued COVID pressures, alongside increasing aphid issues, Agrico has upped the level of technical support offered to seed potato growers. For growers in England and Wales, the cutting back of APHA’s inspection programme and restriction of the number of inspections for basic seeds (field generations 3-5) presented problems.

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Dutch group creates low carb french fry which is healthier than a traditional fry

Leon de Winter wasn’t impressed when his doctor told him he couldn’t eat french fries anymore. The Dutch writer had been diagnosed with diabetes and was put on a strict new diet — and french fries weren’t included. The writer quickly decided he would find low carb fries, however his internet searches turned up zilch. That didn’t deter de Winter and he enlisted his cousin León Eisman, a cardiac doctor, for help, writes Ashley Robinson in an article published by Spud Smart magazine.

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Changes announced at Scottish based Caithness potato variety company

The Caithness Group of Companies successfully completed a demerger on 30th June 2020. From 1st July 2020, a new Company, Caledonia Potatoes Ltd, has been created by former Caithness contributors Alistair Melrose, Mike McDiarmid and Robert Doig. The prior Caithness team says they will continuously work in the many areas and with several of the varieties that growers will recognise as having been associated with Caithness previously. “For many of you the change will be seamless, apparent in name only,” they say.

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New ACC Canada Gold-Dorée ‘could soon outstrip Yukon Gold’

There’s a new potato in town and its name is AAC Canada Gold-Dorée. The new spud is yellow-skinned, pleasantly round, and, some say, even tastier than Yukon Gold. AAC Canada Gold-Dorée may just be setting the new gold standard for the fresh potato market in the country, reports Emily Leeson in Farm Focus. She writes that the new variety is licensed by New Brunswick-based and family-owned Canadian Eastern Growers Inc., which acquired the North American rights for 20 years back in 2017.

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‘Unsung potato heroes’: Indigenous peoples hold the past and future of food in their hands

August 9 is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – a celebration of the uniqueness of the traditions of Quechua, Huli, Zapotec, and thousands of other cultures, but also of the universality of potatoes, bananas, beans, and the rest of the foods that nourish the world. These crops did not arise out of thin air. For centuries, crop diversity has enriched the world, but has been taken out of the hands of Indigenous people in doing so. That story is only beginning to shift as the rest of the world starts to give Indigenous farmers the respect they are due.

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‘Game changer’: New potato variety on track to achieve 2 million tubers/ha

A next generation salad potato variety is on track to achieve 2 million tubers per hectare, bringing with it the potential to become a new market leader. according to a report by FarmingUK. The variety Jacky. developed by Agrico, is said to be on target to produce 2 million tubers per hectare with 65% sized 25-35mm yielding 50tonne/hectare overall. Jacky is a high-yielding second early potato variety. Bred to consistently produce round tubers below 45mm with pale yellow flesh, it is seen as ideal for the UK’s salad market.

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Research study provides basis for new processing strategies to mitigate acrylamide formation, improve chip quality

Potato chips are among the highest contributors to the dietary intake of acrylamide, a potent neurotoxin and likely carcinogen in heat-processed foods, says a Canadian research team, whose study on acrylamide formation in chips was recently published online in the journal Food Control. The research team says their findings provide the basis for new processing strategies to mitigate acrylamide formation, and improve the quality of chips from these, and possibly other, potato cultivars.

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British potato enthusiast sows seeds for more heritage varieties

A potato enthusiast from Hampshire in the UK has produced six more heritage varieties. Among those being produced by Alan Wilson, who lives in Fleet, Hampshire, is a potato called Fortyfold, thought to be the oldest variety grown in Britain, having been introduced in 1836. Mr Wilson said: “I am delighted that I will be able to offer more choice from these outstanding varieties. This will be another step in my long-held ambition to put more rare potatoes on plates.”

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Philippino potato farmers satisfied with performance of Canadian varieties

Potato farmers in northern Benguet in the Phillipines are expected to plant more potato varieties imported as seed from Canada’s Prince Edward Island after completing a successful season during their first trial with these varieties. According to a press release issued by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the Department of Agriculture–Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR), says in a July 1 report that trials with the new potato varieties proved very successful.

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Second growth: A physiological potato problem induced by heat and drought

Second growth is a physiological potato problem induced by prolonged air temperatures above 280C and water stress, according to Dr Eugenia Banks, potato specialist working in Ontario, Canada. These 2 factors interact to limit the tuber growth rate, thus causing second growth. Inadequate soil moisture alone does not result in the initiation of second growth.

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Canada: Alberta potato farmers optimistic for harvest after pandemic soiled supply lines

Alberta potato growers are banking on a healthy harvest after COVID-19 decimated their supply system this spring. Terrence Hochstein, executive director of Potato Growers of Alberta, said the pandemic has cost seed potato farmers in the province between $4.5 million and $5 million in lost revenue. Alberta’s processing industry in terms of french fry production has decreased about 20 per cent this season compared to last, or approximately 7,500 acres.

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Research breakthrough: Fast-maturing, resilient potatoes in Hutton researchers’ sights

New research by James Hutton Institute plant scientists has found that a specific protein encoded by the potato genome is a key component of tuberisation – the process by which the potato plant initiates and develops tubers. It is hoped that the genetic discovery will be harnessed by potato breeders to develop fast-maturing, more resilient potato varieties that will safeguard production in an era of climate change, work that is being taken forward with industry partners.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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