Submitted to: Potato Progress
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2007
Publication Date: 11/30/2007
Citation: Brown, C.R., Quick, R.A., James, S., Halvorson, R., Halvorson, B., Halvorson, D., Halvorson, R. 2007. Tests of Specialty Breeding Lines II: Effect of Early Harvest on Total Yield and Size Profiles. Potato Progress VII (16): 1-3.
Technical Abstract: Specialty potatoes are by their nature destined to fill non-traditional markets. The interaction of agronomic parameters and genotype can make a difference in the cost to the grower and appeal of these potatoes to these niche markets. The Toppenish area of Southern Washington is known for its early production of fresh market potatoes. A trial lasting only ninety days was conducted in a grower’s field. Yield were quite low covering a total yield range from 200 to 350 cwt/acre. Most clones produced the majority of the yield in less than 4 oz. sizes. Two exceptions are Yukon Gold and POR03PG80-2. Comparing the performance of clones that were grown under a longer season regime last year as well, it is apparent that the short season performance reached about one-third that of the long season. Some clones show early bulking as evidenced by larger tubers sizes. In general, longer growing period under optimum conditions translates into larger tuber sizes. In addition, earliness and heavy set are two characteristics that are hard to combine. Perhaps the best way to identify such materials is through early and late harvest comparisons. Toppenish presents an interesting opportunity to produce an early crop of specialty potatoes with exceptionally good colors in the skin and flesh. Also, there were few surface blemishes. Higher prices are paid for the smaller sizes in most years. The best combination would be a highly colorful, early harvest with high yield of mostly smaller tubers.