TRADE AND MARKET I NG There is still plenty of room for new French-fry varieties Rindert Dankert, Breeding Company Kooi, Leeuwarden: ‘In order to increase a possible success, we focus mainly on the early segment.’ that combine early maturity with the desired underwater weight that’s higher than 400. In order to get that far, you can do nothing but develop numbers and wait for something to come up. What we do have more material for is seedlings in the home-made chips segment. The most advanced in this development is our young Festo variety. We now have 10 hectares of seed of that variety. This type of home-made chips variety is easier for a small breeding company such as ours to select, because the requirements are less stringent than for QSR fries. You could describe it as a lazier form of breeding. The ends of the chips may discolour a bit, for example, which is even a characteristic that home fryers prefer. In France, the variety has certainly caught the eye of home fryers and interest is currently increasing significantly. It would be great for our affiliated seed potato growers if the growth continued, because the variety is easy to cultivate and is also strong against scabies. That doesn’t mean you should plant them in the most sensitive scabies soils, though, because that’s obviously asking for trouble. Jörg Renatus, Europlant Holland, Heerenveen: ‘We perceive a demand for robust, stress-resistant varieties with nematode resistance.’ ‘If there’s a year that gives reason to adjust the range of French-fry varieties, then the past year is a good example. New French-fry varieties that are resistant to high temperatures and ‘There’s both opportunity and room for new French-fry varieties. If you take the question further to what our chances are of finding a new Frenchfry variety, then, of course, they’re a lot smaller than those of the wellknown large trading companies. We started with six thousand clones a year while at trading companies like Agrico and HZPC you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of clones. However, I hope that, through accurate crossing, we’ll find contenders for the French-fry segment. In order to increase a potential success, we focus mainly on the early segment, as replacing that is more logical for us than with a bigger French-fry variety. We’d already be very happy with about 100 hectares of a variety. We’re working hard on that too, but for now, it’s still very difficult to get numbers drought have entered the picture. But it’s not only the changing climate that calls for new French-fry varieties, the consequences of more intense cultivation are also to blame. This is reflected, among other things, in the nematode problem, which, in turn, requires resistances. So, these two factors add up to a new demand for robust, stress-resistant varieties with nematode resistance. And we have that with the young Etana and Donata varieties. The Etana is a mid-late French-fry potato for long storage with particularly substantial nematode resistance. The variety combines that with excellent taste and texture, which gives it a very good frying quality even after a long storage period. Our Donata is, in fact, a mid-early French-fry potato with a nematode resistance as well as a resistance to wart disease. What you see after this hot summer is that potatoes sprout easily. Donata doesn’t do that and is therefore very suitable for long storage.’ 34 Potato World 2019 • number 3 Pagina 33

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