2012 Annual Report
Teton Russet is a dual purpose cultivar with maturity similar to Russet Norkotah. It has excellent culinary qualities that are comparable to Russet Burbank and Classic Russet and shows good potential for the early fresh market, with potential as a replacement for Russet Norkotah. Industry evaluations of processing quality for Teton Russet show that it has excellent potential for producing premium quality fries and has relatively low concentrations of asparagine, which is a key component in acrylamide formation. Huckleberry Gold is a medium-early maturing fresh variety with purple skin and yellow flesh and medium yield potential. Merit ratings for boiling, baking, and microwave characteristics are comparable to those for Yukon Gold, but it has substantially higher antioxidant concentrations. Palisade Russet is a late season russet notable for having resistance to foliar and tuber late blight and resistance to Verticillium wilt, black dot, and pink rot, and moderate resistance to tuber net necrosis, potato virus Y (PVY), and early blight. The disease resistances of Palisade Russet also make it a good candidate for organic production, or for use by growers seeking reduced pesticide inputs. It also may have potential as a processing cultivar in areas with inherently low specific gravities.
Nitrogen Responses - We continued a multi-year study in which we compared the nitrogen use efficiency of varieties released by the Tri-State Program with Russet Burbank. These included Alpine Russet, Alturas, Umatilla Russet, Clearwater Russet, Teton Russet and Huckleberry Gold. All of the new varieties had appreciably higher N use efficiency than Russet Burbank at maximum yield, requiring 15-42% less N than RB per unit of yield produced.
Irrigation Responses – Studies designed to evaluate the responses of Tri-State releases to reduced amounts of irrigation were conducted at Aberdeen in 2011-2012. All Tri-State varieties produced higher yields than Russet Burbank (RB) under moderate (75% ET) and severe (50% ET) drought. Under moderate drought stress, Umatilla, Alpine and Premier Russet produced 26, 19 and 16% higher total yields than RB, respectively, while Premier, Alpine and Clearwater Russet produced 86, 73 and 73% higher US No. 1 yields than RB. Under severe drought, Alpine, Umatilla and Premier produced 45, 36 and 31% higher total yields than RB, respectively, while Alpine and Premier Russet produced 235% and 229% higher US No. 1 yields than RB, respectively.
Response to Reduced Pesticide Applications - Studies were conducted to evaluate the potential for reducing pesticide rates on new varieties from the Tri-State. Results show that pesticide rates for most of these varieties can be significantly reduced in comparison to Russet Burbank. Impact - The development of new superior russet cultivars with the desirable traits of ‘Russet Burbank’, but without many of its negative attributes is a primary goal of the breeding program. This approach has produced a number of new varieties that can be produced and utilized with lower amounts of fertilizer and pesticides than standard varieties and can provide a higher level of nutrition to the consumer, including lower acrylamide levels. Specific benefits of improved varieties include reduced costs per unit of production, more uniform quality for fresh-pack and processing, decreased storage losses, enhanced processing recovery, and improved nutritional quality. Varieties released by the Tri-State program are currently produced on over 115,000 acres in the Pacific Northwest with value to growers estimated at approximately $500 million.