Variety Presentation Days 2019: main objectives in breeding vary widely CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY ! Harry van de Vijver, Germicopa, Quimper (F): ‘The ban on CIPC has been a focal point for us in breeding for quite some time.’ ‘There are many issues at the moment, so the question isn’t easy to answer. Some recent issues, for example, relate to the disappearance of crop protection chemicals. I’m thinking of haulm destruction and storage products. The disappearance of CIPC has long been a point of concern in breeding here, especially because it’s been an issue in France for quite some time. The result has been varieties that you can store for a long time at a low temperature, 3.5 to 4 degrees Celcius. Examples are the Amadine and Cherie. For Frenchfry varieties it’s still a challenge to bring the storage temperature down while maintaining the frying quality. Although we’ve already been successful with crisps varieties. For example, we have the Kelly, a variety that can be stored for a long time at a temperature of about 5 degrees Celsius and can then be fried any without discolouring. And when it comes to viruses, we’ve already taken steps in this regard. What you see here is a starch variety with high virus resistance that is doing well in organic cultivation and which is popular in Austria. As regards to haulm killing, we don’t think we should grow late varieties anymore, which means that, as an alternative, we'll have to focus more on varieties that mature earlier and produce higher yields and can also be stored for a long time. A variety that has these characteristics is the Malou. This table potato matures midearly, has a high hectare yield and can be stored for a long time without anti-sprouting agents. ! Dirk van Dijken, Royal ZAP/Semagri, Wieringerwerf: ‘Customers are looking for varieties that they can sell exclusively in their market.’ ‘You only know whether a variety is successful in a country when you've trialled it locally.’ ‘For French-fry varieties it’s still a challenge to bring the storage temperature down while maintaining the frying quality.’ ‘Within the international potato starch market, we already have a number of beautiful varieties in our package. An important focus in our breeding work is finding varieties with resistance to Phytophthora and potato cyst nematode, and with the quality characteristics necessary for our important North African market. The first two characteristics are especially important for our seed potato growers in the Netherlands. After all, Royal ZAP is a seed potato cooperative within which we have to develop profitable varieties for our members. In addition, we see that our customers in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and SAudi Arabia are looking for their own variety that, in addition to the largest Spunta variety, they can sell exclusively in their own market. They want to invest in this themselves. This is an important factor, because we have to trial all new varieties locally. In addition to the requirement that potatoes in their country must give large tubers, Phytophthora resistance is also increasingly important. In our search for new varieties, we collaborate with breeders of non-protected varieties in the Netherlands and with the French Grocep breeding station. Personally, I’d like to exert more influence on the crossings that the breeders develop there. At the moment, they determine the crossings and we, as a seed potato trading company, are only then allowed choose our varieties. One variety of which we currently have great expectations was actually developed by someone else. That's the Dunastar from breeder Piet Smeenge. This red-skinned variety is strong on Phytophthora and has growth potential in several countries in North Africa. In addition, the variety has Ro 1-4 resistance.’ Potato World 2020 • number 1 21 What is your most important focus in your breeding work at the moment ? Pagina 20

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