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Canadian and European Varieties for the Fresh Market

February 29, 2016

Canadian and European Varieties for the Fresh Market
From Eugenia Banks, Potato Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food (Retired), and Ontario Potato Board, Ontario, Canada, presented at the 2016 Empire State Producers Expo Potato Session

Potato breeders are always busy trying to develop fresh market varieties with traits that enhance farm sustainability: resistance to diseases, and attractive, tasty tubers preferred by consumers. Every year, potato-breeding programs evaluate advanced clones at several locations to determine how well the new clones perform under different weather patterns and soil conditions. There are key traits that a new fresh market variety should have:
  • Attractive Appearance: Smooth, bright skin are traits requested by buyers. Good examples are the yellow fleshed variety Colomba (European) and the white fleshed Envol (Quebec). 

  • Early Maturity: This is a plus for fresh market growers. Envol is the earliest white flesh variety grown in Ontario, but it has to be grown in soils not infested with common scab. 

  • Yield: A profitable marketable yield is essential for farm sustainability.

  • Consistency & Predictability: Once you are familiar with the variety, you should be able to determine how much nitrogen fertilizer and other nutrients are required to obtain good yields with the tuber size profile you need for your market. Another example of consistency and predictability is performance under tough conditions such as wet or hot summers.

  • Disease Resistance: Resistance to common scab is an important trait in areas where this soil-borne disease is a problem. Fresh-market producers with scab problems in their fields need to trade off some of the above mentioned traits for common scab resistance. 
See the most promising Canadian and European varieties being trialed in Ontario, Canada.


Canadian & European Varieties for the Fresh Market (pdf; 6067KB)

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Come see 10 varieties of asparagus! The trial includes new releases, purple, frost avoidant, and expanded disease-resistant varieties. Compare the performance of asparagus planted from home-raised seedlings vs crowns. Participate in a weed control discussion and pick the brains of growers and industry reps!

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