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New potato varieties impress in trials

por papinto, em 23.07.10

Philip Case 

Farmers weekly interactive, Friday 23 July 2010 16:48

A new potato processing variety has yielded well in trials in a difficult growing season.

The new variety from Potato Innovations (PI), known only as YP0243, has yielded nearly 35t/ha of marketable ware in the trials.

The variety has been placed in trials alongside six other varieties with Seabrook Crisps of Bradford.

YP0243 is due to receive registration as a formal variety this autumn. Then it is expected that a select number of growers will be contracted to grow the variety as a seed crop before it can be grown commercially.

"They have been particularly pleased with YP0243, saying it's the best they've had through the factory at this time of year," said Paul Knight, PI's technical director.

On light land in Fulford, Yorkshire, YP0243 has been yielding 34.6t/ha of marketable ware, compared with around 30.9t/ha from the field reference, specialist crisping variety Lady Rosetta.

However, Mr Knight said the biggest problem noted with YP0243 in the trial had been the disappointing level of weed control.

This was largely attributed to the crop having been planted under fleece rather than any breakdown in chemical effectiveness, explained Mr Knight. "By the time the fleece was removed, the weeds were too advanced."

"And we've had another six varieties here in the same trial, five of them crispers, all of which have shown potential in one way or another," added Mr Knight.

All the crisping varieties are being trialled with Seabrook Crisps, which has increased its annual throughput from 8000t to 50,000t in the last three years.

Meanwhile, Russ Kelsey, sales manager at Agrico, said the company was working hard with its growers and breeders to develop its new crisping variety Mustang.

Mustang is similar to Lady Rosetta, boasting the same red skin and creamy flesh, explained Mr Kelsey.

"Tubers have a good shape for processing, and working with Wolds, we've had success not only from Seabrook, but also from small-scale trials with Tayto in Ireland and Mackies in Scotland."

Mr Kelsey said Toluca, a new blight resistant variety from Agrico's organic division, Bioselect UK, could become a strong option for both conventional and organic producers.

"It's a well-performing general-purpose potato, possessing good eating qualities," he said."


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