TRADE AND MARKET I NG There is still plenty of room for new French-fry varieties Jos Bus, The Potato Company, Emmeloord: ‘What you want to find in the end is a practical potato with a simple user manual.’ times needs a bit of luck. What you want to find in the end is a practical potato with a simple user manual. There’s quite a bit of room to manoeuvre in the existing playing field, in fact, in some areas there’s even an obvious need for it. Take the former peat areas in the Netherlands and Germany, where the cultivation of French fries is currently booming. At the moment, you can only successfully plant a new French-fry variety such as our Toronto, which has all the required resistances for that area. We see opportunities in the area and, hopefully, the variety will be able to flourish there.’ Jan-Paul Bandsma, De Nijs, Warmenhuizen: ‘We’re looking for strong, robust, drought and heat resistant varieties.’ ‘If you want to introduce new Frenchfry varieties, and that’s what we want, you must be able to make a difference compared to existing varieties. We’ve specialised in resistances to Globodera Pallida, Rostochiensis and wart disease. We’re achieving success with that, but that doesn’t mean that the task is a simple one. All varieties have good qualities, but also negative ones. For breeding work, the latter is often the entry point. Our entry, the crossing of resistance to nematodes and wart disease, is often accompanied by a reduction in positive characteristics such as yield, frying quality, dormancy, storage life or underwater weight. So it can take a long time before the desired optimally-performing French-fry variety with a broad nematode resistance emerges. It’s usually a very long-term affair, and some‘As a trading house, we’re a shareholder of the Fobek breeding company in Sint Annaparochie. Every year, we give an indication of the percentage of potential varieties we want to have for a certain market segment. This includes a large percentage of French-fry varieties. One basic requirement is potato cyst nematode resistance. In addition, a variety must be export worthy and have an appropriate underwater weight. The aim is to put a highquality export variety with French fry quality on the market. Our main market is countries around the Mediterranean Sea. What they want are high-yielding varieties with good drought and heat resistance. They have to perform well under the same conditions that we had here in the Netherlands last summer. And it should be a variety that does well with three or four irrigation rounds per season and not one that needs water every week. We’re therefore looking for strong, robust, drought and heat resistant varieties, in short, varieties that can take a beating. So yes, there’s still plenty of room for new French-fry varieties in that respect. This summer has taught us that the weather conditions here in Europe were very erratic and that these characteristics are needed here, too. We’re looking for just such a variety. A French-fry number that looks promising is FOB2012-136032. This number is starting its seventh year of trialling and has yet to prove itself in practice. 32 Potato World 2019 • number 3 Pagina 31

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