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Title: Genetic Contribution to the Management of the Potato Crop (Contribucion Genetica al Manejo del Cultivo de la Papa)

item Brown, Charles
item Whitworth, Jonathan

Submitted to: Proceedings Washington State Potato Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2006
Publication Date: 9/15/2006
Citation: Brown, C.R. and J. Whitworth. 2006. Genetic Contribution to the Management of the Potato Crop. Proceedings of the 45th Annual Washington State Potato Conference. February 7-9, 2006, Moses Lake, WA. pp. 145-149

Interpretive Summary: Potato varieties respond differently in regards to the stresses that can occur during the growing season. Knowledge of these differences can aid the crop manager in pre-emptive decisions that can stave off problems. For instance, rotting of the tubers is an ever-present danger. Potatoes that go into storage can have a certain amount of rot that can increase to devastating levels during storage. Avoiding rot in the first place is the best approach. First of all, one should pay attention to the water levels in the field. Avoiding planting the center of a center pivot is highly advisable in that it is the wettest section in the field. Similarly do not harvest low wet areas that have lots of rotten tubers. Ranger Russet is more resistant to tuber rots than the more widespread variety Russet Burbank. Therefore, the approach to harvest can be more lenient for Ranger Russet, while careful attention should be applied to the rot-prone Russet Burbank in order to exclude rotting tubers in the storage. Russet Burbank will need rapid and efficient wound healing after harvest. Wound healing means the provision of oxygen and moisture for several weeks after harvest. Maintenance of a 55 F storage temperature for this time is essential. The careful provision of fresh oxygen-rich air from outside the storage is essential to minimize storage losses with Russet Burbank, but less important with Ranger Russet.

Technical Abstract: Different varieties of potato display varying responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Knowing that a variety is resistant or susceptible to these factors can help to minimize economic losses by management. Timely counteraction against such factors by water, chemical application, and storage procedures are very effective to control certain things. Comparisons of Ranger Russet, a variety that has been commercially grown for ten years, and Russet Burbank, a variety that has been grown for more than a hundred years are enlightening. Both varieties are susceptible to blackspot bruise, but Ranger is more susceptible, necessitating harvesting it relatively immature and processing it soon harvest. While Russet Burbank is highly susceptible to internal brown spot, Ranger Russet is resistant. Ranger is moderately resistant to Verticillium wilt while Russet Burbank is highly susceptible. Ranger is susceptible to common scab while Russet Burbank is resistant. Because Ranger Russet is more resistant to Verticillium, the amount of nitrogen needed to achieve a certain vegetative period is less. This will impact timing and amounts of nitrogen. Ranger starts bulking relatively early and too much nitrogen will prevent maturation. Ranger has less of a tendency to rot in storage than Russet Burbank. Russet Burbank’s tendency to rot means that it needs careful management of ventilation and absolute stringency in the maintenance of dry tuber surfaces in storage.