Popular potato variety Estima could “fade away quickly” as new varieties take its place, Greenvale technical director Paul Coleman said at British Potato 2009.



The firm’s Sylvana, for example, had exceeded expectations as an Estima replacement in the west of the country, he said. “Most growers have been getting much better yields compared with Estima.”

In the past, Herefordshire growers relied on getting excellent store quality from Estima grown on virgin land, he said. “They relied on a big premium because they were only getting 15-16t/acre.

“But those yields are no longer competitive against UK potato standards. If they are going to have a sustainable business they need better marketable yields and Sylvana ticks the right boxes.

“Most growers are getting 2-3t/acre more than with Estima. Some have got high 20s/acre.”

The variety had good all-round disease resistance, with strong resistance to common and powdery scab, which was an unusual combination, he noted.

Three retailers had the variety listed. “Our 750t of seed sold out a month ago.”