Archive Article: 1997/09/20

20 September 1997


Its rare to find a first early suitable for French fry production, but heres one. Its use might be similar to Premiere. Long tuber shape. But its early days; its only been in trial for one year. A Solana variety from Germany, its been entered direct.


A pre-packer and early baker with real potential and good blight resistance. The nearest thing to Estima for some while, but no better. It may be a little earlier, so it might achieve a higher baker content. Very attractive and a good growers variety.


Long oval parti-coloured tubers. Provisionally recommended for general use, although developed initially with McCains in mind. Good fry colour and long dormancy which is a real advantage if theyre going to be stored. Overall disease characteristics are good – high resistance to blackleg, resistant to PCN (Ro1) and some resistance to pallida. Susceptibility to virus Y can be countered with good seed management.


Might fill the gap in the market for reds. Some supermarkets wont stock Romano any more, and Desiree needs to be grown on kind soils. Some really good attributes – moderate dry matter and good frying and boiling characteristics. But Id worry about internal defects and lack of nematode resistance. For pre-packing tuber uniformity is better than Desiree, though not ideal.


One of the varieties eating into the crisping sector. It produces a very good fry colour but agronomically, too, its superb, with some excellent disease characteristics. But it does need a little extra care over seed numbers. Some growers who left Hermes to mature in an effort to boost dry matter have ended up with some oversize tubers.


Making a two pronged attack – on the high value punnet value and for early season fresh ware. Itll soon creep into the varietal top 20. Personally I believe it has the taste and flavour to fulfil what the end user wants. Its a free variety which is good from the growers point of view – there are no marketing restrictions, other than in seed supply. NIAB is looking at ways of sponsoring varieties such as this through Independent Variety Trials, so that they have a chance of making it onto the Recommended List.

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