Submitted to: Potato Progress
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 2007
Publication Date: November 16, 2007
Citation: Brown CR, Quick, R. 2007. Tests of Specialty Breeding Lines I: Size Profiles From Washington Suggest Several Marketing Options. Potato Progress Vol. VII (15): 1-3. Technical Abstract: Yield trials of recently selected specialty clones were conducted in 2006 at the Paterson, WA field site. Two trials were conducted, each consisting of 3 replications of 10-hill plots. In recent years our industry partners have expressed an intense interest in the tuber size profiles. We, therefore, present tuber sizes above four ounces in 2 oz. intervals. This data is compiled after culls are removed. Yukon Gold is the most successfully commercialized specialty variety in the trial. Many fresh market growers compare all other potential specialty potatoes against Yukon Gold. Indeed it is fairly unique in its tendency to set a small number of larger tubers. No other clone is comparable in that respect except POR02PG5-1, which has a larger total yield and 2/3 of the yield as 10 oz or above. It has a bright, shiny skin and is attractive. However, agronomically it differs radically in tuber size distribution. Over half of tubers are under 8 oz. size. Marketing this type of potato into a Yukon Gold market niche may be difficult when the expectation is a larger size tuber. Furthermore, Yukon Gold is well-known for its excellent taste. A potato that goes head to head against it will have to be even more palatable. However, the opening for such a potato may be in the B size market. Consumers are looking for convenience. Many households interested in new food types are single or two-person households where all parties work outside the home. Small, easily cooked potatoes that do not have to be cut to get the reduced portion size, present a market opening. Pre-prepackaged, B size potatoes, washed and ready to microwave are a presentation possibility. The other factor is that a new specialty potato must have is bright colors so that they stand out on the fresh produce shelves (similar to the color array of apples). POR02PG26-5 is such a potato. The red splash around the eye is quite noticeable and the contrast with the shiny cream colored skin, underlaid with yellow flesh is attention-getting.