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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Testing of Potato Genotypes for Utilization by Industry in Washington State

Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Test clones and cultivars available through the Tri-State Potato Variety Development Consortium and the Western Regional Variety Testing Program with particular attention to agronomic management strategies, that lead to greater profitability, sustainability, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses that affect processing quality and overall profitability of genotypes for the industry.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Potato genotypes emerging from USDA/ARS and other germplasm enhancement programs will be grown at several locations and subjected to specific management treatments to determine the optimum management practices to achieve the industry targets for yield, tuber size profiles, specific gravity, frying quality, and recovery and processing quality after differing lengths of storage at different temperatures. The effects of extreme temperatures and water availability regimes during crop growth in the field will be assessed to identify genotypes with the least erratic performance.


3.Progress Report:

Russet Norkotah, the predominant variety used for baked potatoes, is susceptible to Potato Virus Y (PVY). Because of this, it is difficult for seed growers to certify their R. Norkotah and difficult for commercial growers to find certified seed. Moreover, R. Norkotah’s internal color tends to change into an unappetizing brownish-gray following four or more months of storage. To combat these issues, the Northwest Potato Variety Development Program (Tri-State) released a new potato cultivar designed to compete with R. Norkotah: ‘Teton Russet’. Teton Russet has excellent yield and quality for both fresh and process markets and is less susceptible to PVY than R. Norkotah. Multiple years of research at Washington State University has demonstrated that Teton Russet typically produces 25% more out-of-field revenue for growers than R. Norkotah due to a higher pack-out and fresh market size profile. Moreover, a formal taste and sensory panel overseen by the Washington State University Food Lab rated Teton Russet baked potatoes best in flavor, aroma, texture, and overall acceptance compared to ten other varieties including R. Norkotah and R. Burbank. According to NASS 2011, R. Norkotah is grown on 14% of Washington acreage and 13% of all fall US acreage, or 22,400- and 124,449,000-acres, respectively. Conservatively, it accounts for approximately $161.3 million and $670 billion of gross farm-gate value for WA and the US, respectively. If Teton Russet replaced only half of acreage, it would bring WA and US growers and extra $40 million and $168 billion, respectively. A grower with 1000 acres of Teton Russet would gross $1.8 million more than if he/she produced R. Norkotah. This research falls under the primary objective of the related in-house project, "Determine the value of advanced potato germplasm with particular attention to disease, pest, and stress resistance, yield, quality characteristics, and profitability parameters", specifically the factors of disease, pest, and stress resistance.


Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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