Orla gets UK launch

GOOD BLIGHT resistance is a key feature of an early maturing potato variety being launched to UK growers.

Orla, which has been grown in Ireland and on a small scale in the UK for several years, offers growers excellent natural disease resistance, claimed Colm McDonnell from Irish Potato Marketing.

The variety has NIAB ratings of eight and six for tuber blight and blackleg resistance respectively.

Around 80ha is being grown in the UK at present and it has been listed by Sainsbury’s as a pre-pack general white, on the basis of good cooking performance and flavour, he added.

“Orla has got generally good disease resistance and unusually good blight resistance for a first early variety,” comments NIAB’s Simon Kerr.

But the variety is more susceptible to common and powdery scab, scoring 5 and 4 respectively in NIAB trials, he said. It also has fairly low dry matter, which could limit its appeal beyond the early baker market, later in the season, he noted.

While the variety was originally aimed at conventional growers, Mr McDonnell believes its disease resistance could make it attractive to organic producers.

Agronomic and trials information about the variety is available on a new website, www.orlapotatoes.com.


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