TRADE AND MARKET I NG There is still plenty of room for new French-fry varieties Jacob Eising, Den Hartigh, Emmeloord: ‘For growers, it’s important to offer harvest and quality assurance.’ basic properties such as the distribution of dry matter in the tuber. Obtaining sufficient length in Frenchfry varieties and growing potatoes without internal defects caused by all kinds of nematodes. Due to the high level of the existing large varieties, improvement is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. I’d dare to say that with the arrival of the King Russet, the QSR market can return to a true white-fleshed variety. This variety has even more to offer compared to the existing varieties in the fast food segment. In terms of nematode resistance, this variety is officially highly resistant to the Ro1 - Pallida 3 range. For the French-fry industry, the variety gives a very homogeneous product, it’s high in dry matter, and has a nice tuber length. We can bring 90 percent of ‘There’s certainly still room for new French-fry varieties. It’s our job to find a balance between cultivation and market. This means that a new variety must have improved market characteristics and can only be successful if it adds something to the existing cultivation package. This is why we’re paying a great deal of attention to the fine tuning of a new variety. With our new King Russet variety, we’re showing the research results to a select group of people here. We have a separate cell here with sixteen trays with beautiful big tubers, which we’ve collected from research that focuses on the basic material. We want to find out how to store the seed of a variety in the storehouse in the most optimal way. We use Talent, Ethylene, turning and cold storage methods and combinations of all these factors. We also examine the planting distance. For the cultivation of ware potatoes, we examine whether a variety is suitable for different soil types and how a variety responds to the cutting of seed for cultivating ware potatoes. Because the King Russet is a variety with eyes everywhere on the entire tuber, we see in this study that the yield of cut seed potatoes in the cultivation of ware potatoes is no lower than that of whole seed potatoes. What I notice is that it’s increasingly difficult for growers to harvest a good product. So we must offer growers reliability, which means we must be very innovative in order to keep up with the situation in the crop, which is continuing to deteriorate. Growing potatoes is increasingly resembling a roulette system. So for the growers, it’s important to offer harvest and quality assurance. In the customer market, we talk about the yield to the factory. In this new generation of French-fry varieties, we’ve now gained control of a number of negativelylinked genes. This means that we’ve now also largely gained control of characteristics such as grey discolouration and yield. Sjefke Allefs, Agrico Research, Bant: ‘As soon as a French-fry manufacturer ‘A number of French-fry varieties have taken up very dominant positions in the market. As soon as a French-fry manufacturer accepts a variety as a raw material, things move fast. Nevertheless, there’s certainly room for new varieties, but the entry barriers are very high. As soon as we cross Phytophthora into a new variety, it has a lot of added value in the market. Phytophthora is particularly widely present in an area like Northwest Europe, where much of the French-fry production takes place. We have to cross these important characteristics into a variety to find a new Fontane, Agria or Bintje. Moreover, improvements can be made in potato cyst nematode resistance for both consumption and seed potato growers. I regard potato cyst nematode as an important limiting factor for the production of seed potatoes in the Netherlands. Resistant varieties are the way to control this problem. In the top 10 of processing varieties, only Innovator has a partial pallida resistance. We’re responding to this issue with varieties such as Libero, Lugano and Basin Russet. We’re also seeing that the industry is picking 28 Potato World 2019 • number 3 Pagina 27

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