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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341308

Title: University of Florida potato variety trials spotlight: 'Peter Wilcox'

item MWATUWA, RODRICK - University Of Florida
item CHRISTENSEN, CHRISTIAN - University Of Florida
item SOLANO, PAM - University Of Florida
item Haynes, Kathleen
item ZOTARELLI, LINCOLN - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Extension Digital Information Source (EDIS)
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2017
Publication Date: 7/18/2017
Citation: Mwatuwa, R.Z., Christensen, C.T., Solano, P., Haynes, K.G., Zotarelli, L. 2017. University of Florida potato variety trials spotlight: 'Peter Wilcox'. Extension Digital Information Source (EDIS). HS1295.

Interpretive Summary: The potato variety ‘Peter Wilcox’ was released in 2007 by ARS and university cooperators in the eastern U.S. as a specialty market variety with purple skin and yellow flesh. This extension publication for potato growers in Florida summarizes general characteristics of the variety, reactions to common diseases in Florida, and provides recommendations on fertilization and spacing practices for growing ‘Peter Wilcox’. This information will benefit potato growers in Florida looking for unique potato varieties for specialty markets.

Technical Abstract: 'Peter Wilcox’ is a fresh market potato variety selected from progeny of a cross between B0810-1 and B0918-5, and tested under the pedigree B1816-5 by K.G. Haynes. It was jointly released by United States Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Agricultural Experiment Stations of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and New York, and Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station in 2007. ‘Peter Wilcox’ demonstrates good tuber characteristics and high yields. Yields are slightly lower than the commercial standard ‘Red Lasoda’ (RLAS). Tuber production and quality results provided in this spotlight are from Florida Potato Variety Trials conducted at the University of Florida Hastings Agricultural Extension Center between 2001 and 2016. ‘Peter Wilcox’ has a semi-erect plant habit with intermediate foliage. Tubers have a purple and slightly netted skin with a medium yellow flesh (Fig. 1) according to Florida rating codes for potato tuber characteristics (Table 1). The tubers have a fair to good appearance with round to oblong shape and intermediate eye depth with apical distribution (Tables 1 and 3). The tubers have a low to medium specific gravity of 1.065 (Table 2) with a long dormancy, (time required for sprout emergence). ‘Peter Wilcox’ has high yield potential under Florida production conditions with 219 cwt/acre marketable yield and 74% of the tubers produced in tuber size distribution classes A1 and A3, and 22% of the tubers in class size B (Table 2). ‘Peter Wilcox’ demonstrates no incidence of hollow heart, brown rot, corky ring spot, or internal heat necrosis (Table 3). It is resistant to powdery scab (Spongospora subterranea), and susceptible to late blight (Phytophthora infestans), early blight (Alternaria solani), common scab (Streptomyces scabies), potato virus Y, and potato virus S. The cultivar is highly susceptible to Verticullium wilt (Verticillium albo-atrum) and (Verticillium dahliae). A standard UF Extension-recommended disease and weed control program described under Potato Production (Chapter 13 of the Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida) should be followed. ‘Peter Wilcox’ is a medium maturing cultivar under Florida growing conditions. Season length was 91 days on average from planting to harvest. This depended on weather conditions during the growing season. The plants should be harvested two to three weeks after vine kill to improve tuber maturation and skin set. Potatoes with proper skin set maintain better skin color, lose less weight in storage, and are more resistant to bruising and soft rot. For more information about vine killing on potatoes, see Potato Vine Killing or Desiccation described in Zotarelli et al (2011). Late in the season, tuber size should be checked regularly in order to harvest tubers with desirable marketable size. Soil moisture should be managed late in the season to avoid high soil moisture conditions that cause enlarged lenticels and delayed skin set.