Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2003
Publication Date: 10/4/2003
Citation: Hutchinson, C.M., White,J.M., Haynes, K.G., Gergela, D.M., Solano, P.A., Lippi, C.S. 2003. Red-skinned, fresh-market potato varieties for northeastern Florida production. Hort Technology 13:702-706. Interpretive Summary: The winter and spring potato crops in Florida are among the top five vegetable crops produced in that state. Under warm temperature growing conditions, red-skinned potato varieties currently available in the marketplace tend to be too light in color and have eyes that are too deep to satisfy the red market. Three potato selections bred at the USDA/ARS potato breeding program in Beltsville for darker red color and shallower eyes were evaluated at four sites in Florida in 2002. These three selections yielded less than the current standard red-skinned varieties but maintained their dark red color better under the warm temperature growing conditions in Florida and they also had shallower eyes. Two of these selections warrant further evaluation in larger sized trials. This research will benefit potato producers and consumers by identifying new varieties to meet the changing needs of the potato industry.
Technical Abstract: Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is an important agricultural crop for Florida annually ranking among the top five valued vegetable crops in the state. From 1996 to 2000, the winter and spring potato crop was grown on an average of 16,000 ha and valued at $117 million. Variety evaluation and selection is an important tool to improve production efficiencies and increase the competitiveness of Florida growers. A red-skinned potato clone evaluation was conducted in northeast Florida in 2002. The experimental design was a four site x five clone factorial. The four sites were University of Florida's Plant Science Research and Extension Unit in St. Johns County, two grower sites in St. Johns County, and one grower site in Flagler County. Potato clones were `Red LaSoda', `LaRouge" B0984-1, B1145-2, and B1758-3. Clone means for marketable tuber yield were 36.3, 35.6, 30.2, 20.3, and 21.4 MT ha-1, respectively. Tuber yields of the two varieties were significantly higher than the advanced selections. Specific gravity means ranged from 1.060 for `Red LaSoda' to 1.070 for B0984-1. There were no significant differences among varieties and advanced selections for total culls or the incidence of hollow heart, brown rot, or corky ringspot. However, B0984-1 had higher internal heat necrosis than all other clones. Potato clones ranked from lowest to highest overall appearance were `LaRouge', `Red LaSoda', B1758-3, B0984-1, and B1145-2. Higher appearance ratings in the advanced selections were attributed to darker red color, rounder shape, and shallower eyes compared to standard varieties. "Red LaSoda' and `LaRouge" will continue to be recommended as the standard red-skinned potato varieties for northeast Florida. However, B0984-1 and B1145-2 should be planted in larger plantings to further evaluate quality and production characteristics.