TRADE AND MARKET I NG Robust is the new trend Henk Feddes, Interseed, Dronten: ‘If I hear the word robust, I think of yield’ ‘Funny that you should ask this. I’ve only been working as director for Interseed Holland for a week now and I’m still exploring everything here. For example, I travelled straight to Germany last week to discuss the breeding programme. I was told the first and most important cultivation target there is yield, yield and yield. What my new boss, Willem Meyer, says about this is: first comes yield, then the requirement that the variety should be easy to process, and resistance only comes in the third place. So if I hear the word robust, I immediately think of yield. This is only a very brief answer, I realise, but that’s the essence. If you ask whether that’s all for now then my answer is no. There’ll be a time when we really need to give greater importance to pests and disease resistance. The reason why this isn’t yet the case has to do with our business mentality. Unlike breeding companies like Stet Holland and HZPC, where I’ve just come from, Interseed focuses much more on short-term variety development. It’s not that we ignore the resistance factor but, so far, it has been secondary. Our first priority is high yields, big tubers and the best frying quality. Following this are requirements such as long shelf life and good dormancy. That’s what Interseed Germany means by robust. For Interseed Holland, however, the resistance factor struction manual’ each growing condition that tackles the biggest problem the grower has to deal with. An example is our Metro. This variety is suitable both for processing into chips and for the traditional table market in North Africa, for example. It’s an export variety mainly for areas with a hot climate. High stress tolerance, drought resistance and stable yields are important and it definitely has those. It’s a potato that grows easily for the consumption potato grower there, but it’s also good for the seed potato grower here. The only thing you need to watch out for is its virus susceptibility. Most buyers want a category E, which is what you earn most with as a seed potato grower. This means that you shouldn’t leave the crop too long in the ground and you should kill its haulm in time.’ actually is a focal point. We’re more of a seed potato propagator and an important variety for us is the Zorba. It isn’t resistant to potato cyst nematode and that’s a requirement for many seed potato growing areas. Last night, we were just walking past all the boxes and my new colleagues look at their characteristics very differently from the Germans. What they say is: hey, this one has ABC resistance, that’s pallida resistant, that’s interesting. One example of this is the Miss Malina. First of all it has a high yield, because that’s why it was initially chosen. But if you compare it to the Zorba it also has Potato Cyst Nematode-ABC resistance and it’s resistant to all types of Globodera rostochiensis. In addition, it also has very little susceptibility to leaf and tuber Phytophthora. Now that’s what you could call real Dutch robustness.’ ● Jaap Delleman and Leo Hanse Potato World 2018 • number 1 35 Pagina 34

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