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Photo: In a potato cellar, geneticist Richard Novy (right) and plant pathologist Dennis Corsini examine quality of tubers from the Aberdeen breeding program after cold storage. Link to photo information

For more details, see Agricultural Research.

New Tubers Offered for Growers and Gardeners

By Marcia Wood
December 15, 2000

An attractive, new, red-skinned potato called IdaRose tastes great and is perfect for producing at home or on the farm. Agricultural Research Service scientists Dennis L. Corsini at Aberdeen, Idaho, and Joseph J. Pavek, now retired, worked with university colleagues to develop the new variety.

IdaRose is ideal for home gardeners because it stores unusually well in a low cupboard or cool, dark, dry corner in the basement. In contrast, some kinds of potatoes tend to sprout soon after they’re stored at home.

Corsini and Pavek singled out IdaRose from other promising potatoes in 1984. After that, growers and university specialists in the western United States put the potato through more than a decade of rigorous tests. In nearly all trials, IdaRose produced just as many top-grade spuds as the widely-grown Red LaSoda red-skinned potato. IdaRose had a lower incidence of unsightly internal defects than Red LaSoda. And IdaRose consistently had the right balance of starch and water needed to ensure that the spud holds together well when steamed or boiled.

Currently, more than a dozen farmers produce IdaRose seed potatoes. Most are sold to growers to start the following year's crop of IdaRose tubers for sale in supermarkets. But some seed tubers are bought for selling to home gardeners. Corsini says nearly all leading retail nurseries in Idaho's larger cities stock IdaRose for backyard gardeners.

IdaRose is one of several new varieties of potatoes that the ARS scientists at Aberdeen--in collaboration with researchers at Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, and Washington State University–have released within the past few years. IdaRose will be licensed through the University of Idaho.

For more details, see the December issue of ARS’ magazine, Agricultural Research.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Scientific contact: Dennis L. Corsini, ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit, Aberdeen, Idaho, phone (208) 397-4181, fax (208) 397-4165,