1 October 1999

Little new for the processor

NEW varieties in the processing sector are few and far between, especially chippers, says NIABs Simon Kerr.

"Theres nothing new that will reach regular growers for two to three years," he reckons.

However, provisionally recommended variety Spey is promising.

"It looks good for processing, for french fries. It has a long oval shape, high dry matter, and good disease resistance. RO1 eelworm resistance is combined with some level of pallida resistance."

Ranger Russet, the latest variety hope to replace Russet Burbank, seems unlikely to do so due to poor disease resistance. "Its no improvement on Burbank," he says.

There is more activity with crispers, as breeders strive to build on the advance to Lady Rosetta, Saturna and Hermes following the demise of Record.

"All three have weaknesses. Lady Rosetta is very susceptible to blackleg, Hermes tends to grow rather large, and whilst Saturna has good storage, it tends to be rather low yielding and uneven unless grown well."

Harborough Harvest and Golden Millenium, from SCRI, have just completed national list trials and could be the next step, he suggests. "They have good fry colours and no major disease weaknesses. We hope to see them in NIAB trials next year."

Of the US-bred Fritolay crispers, Courlan is in third year NIAB trials, and could do well as an early crisper, competing with Lady Rosetta. But US material tends to be blight susceptible, and this is no exception, he warns.

PROCESSINGPOTATOES

&#8226 Limited new varieties.

&#8226 Possible crispers: Harborough Harvest, Golden Millenium.

&#8226 Provisionally recommended chipper: Spey.

&#8226 Blight problems in US material.