CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY Variety Presentation Days 2019: main objectives in breeding vary widely ! Rindert Dankert, Selection Company Kooi, Leeuwarden: ‘Our focus for many years has been on breeding early varieties.’ ‘Our focus for many years has been on breeding early varieties and we’re still sticking to that. That is also the power of Kooij. Important aspects are the time and the degree of maturing. It's difficult, for example, to breed in the right moment at which the foliage starts to die off. In many early varieties, maturation starts too early so that high yields are no longer possible. Another difficult aspect in breeding is to combine early maturity with proper hardening off of the skin. Breeders don’t always include this last factor sufficiently in their assessment, often resulting in disappointments later. At the moment, the early French-fry varieties are the most in demand and all the breeders are looking first and foremost at the Première. One of the areas where manufacturers want improvement is a better shape and better distribution of the dry matter content in the tubers. And that's what we're also looking at in our breeding work. We currently have a promising number, Fob 2012-136-067, from the Fobek breeding station. All in all, this is an early dualpurpose variety. You can get a lot of high-quality French fries from it and the variety can also be used as a table potato for fresh consumption. The extra qualities of this variety compared, for example, to the Première is its better dry matter distribution, its bigger size and, at the same time, long-oval shape, its beautifully-smooth strong skin and its more yellowy flesh colour. ! Gerard Schenk, Agroplant, Medemblik: ‘In the past few years, we’ve also invested a lot of time and energy in the development and marketing of French-fry and crisps ‘In their home market our regular customers are increasingly being asked for processable varieties.’ ‘One of the points for improvement that manufacturers want is a better shape and a better distribution of the dry matter content in the tubers.’ ‘Agroplant has been active in the export market and the table segment for many years now. In the past few years, however, we have also invested the necessary time and energy in the development and marketing of French-fry and crisps varieties. This is simply a strong growth market in the world, which means that the demand for varieties with a wide range of specifications is also increasing. You have to think of variations in earliness, flesh colour, shape, pest and disease resistances as well as stress resistance. Not every breeding company has a ready-made answer to every issue, but we'll be able to provide one or more solutions for the points mentioned. Incidentally, the desire to offer French-fry and crisps varieties isn’t so much because we want to enter those markets per se, but rather to meet the demand of our regular customers. In their home market they are increasingly being asked for processable varieties. In order to be able to develop these varieties, Agroplant is working together with Fobek breeding company where they already have the necessary experience in developing varieties in both market segments. The trick for us is to provide Fobek with the precise variety criteria that our customers need, so they get exactly what they have in mind. The breeding outcome that’s currently available is still very young, we don’t yet have a ready-made solution for both French fries and crisps in the trays. What we do have are numbers that we think might turn into a variety. One of these is a variety that’s very suitable for processing into French fries, the BU-09-524. It’s red-skinned, has slightly-yellowish flesh, and gives a high-harvestable yield for both seed and ware potato growers. Thanks to its smooth and round shape, any crisps manufacturer can also achieve a high return here.’ 20 Potato World 2020 • number 1 What is your most important focus in your breeding work at the moment ? Pagina 19

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