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Published September 07, 2010, 09:56 AM

Number of potato trials under way at northeast ND sites

ALONG NORTH DAKOTA HIGHWAY 18 — The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association annual Field Day included lots of discussion with a who’s who in the region’s potato production and processing industries. Breeding programs took center stage, drawing visitors from California, the Netherlands and Australia.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

ALONG NORTH DAKOTA HIGHWAY 18 — The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association annual Field Day included lots of discussion with a who’s who in the region’s potato production and processing industries. Breeding programs took center stage, drawing visitors from California, the Netherlands and Australia.

While a discovery of potato psyllid insect pests grabbed headlines, here is what producers primarily were looking at, as described by North Dakota State University officials, including Asunta “Susie” Thompson, NDSU’s potato breeder, and colleagues:

n Larimore, N.D.: Irrigated trials in Larimore are planted at Carl Hoverson Farms on a mini-pivot built for the purpose. The 2010 trials include three cooperative trials with Simplot. The state processing trial has 20 entries, including 10 promising dual-purpose selections from the NDSU potato breeding program, comparing them to industry standards.

A new trial in 2010 is a small trial looking for “extremely high-yielding clones” with high dry matter and low sugar content. As one producer in the group noted, “They still pay us by the pound,” meaning yield always will be a major consideration.

Larimore is the primary trial for the North Central Regional Potato Variety Trial processing trial. Four selections from North Central cooperators are compared to two industry standards. NDS8229-3 is entered from NDSU. Researchers also have planted maintenance plots of 2009 out-of-state selections, in addition to out-of-state russet seedlings with processing potential.

n Inkster, N.D.: An irrigation site includes the irrigated Northern Regional Potato Variety Trial fresh and chip processing trials and is a second site for the North Central Regional Potatov Variety Trial processing trial. There are 21 entries in the irrigated chip trial, including advancing NDSU selections, industry standards and several Frito-Lay clones.

A graduate student is working here to identify resistance to fusarium dry rot.

Other trials include a metribuzin tolerance screening conducted in cooperation with NDSU’s Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, a response to

2,4-D on promising NDSU red-skinned selection, and an anti-sweetening trial in collabor-

ation with Joe Sowokinos of the University of Minnesota’s department of horticultural science.

n Hoople, N.D.: Chip trials, including North Central Regional Potato Variety Trial chip processing trials and the state trial, are planted on the Lloyd Oberg farm. There are 26 entries in the state trial, which includes advancing selections from the NDSU breeding program, industry standards and several Frito-Lay cultivars. There are 11 entries from the regional chip trial. The NDSU breeding program has one entry in this adaptational trial.

During this past winter, the U.S. Potato Board/Snack Food Association worked to establish early testing of clones with chip processing potential at several sites across the United States. The “quick-chip” trial is a new, concerted collaborative effort with a handful of breeding programs and the U.S. Potato Board. In 2010, there are 219 entries, including 18 from NDSU. The goal is to rapidly identify replacements for Snowden with long-term chip processing potential, and Atlantic, primarily to address its suscepti-

bility to internal heat necriss, while providing high-yield potential and high specific gravity, and that can withstand production environments in the South. Hoople serves as a nonirrigated trial.

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