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IPM: 'We feel an obligation to produce varieties that can be grown in an environmentally friendly way.'

Colm McDonnell, IPM, Deinum: ‘We feel an obligation to produce varieties that can be grown in an environmentally friendly way.’

Every year in the first full week of November, the European potato breeding and seed trading companies operating in the Netherlands present their new varieties and latest breeding results to their global customer base.

Many of these new varieties are intended to be used some day for the production of French Fries. All participants at what we here at PotatoPro call the 'Potato Variety Presentations in the Netherlands' (of doodgewoon rassenpresentaties in het Nederlands) have one or more contenders in this segment.

This raises the question:

“Is there room for all those new French-fry varieties?”
That is the question Aardappelwereld (World Potato Magazine) asked the participating companies last year. And thanks to our brand new partnership agreement with them, we can report you the answers they got in this series of articles!

IPM, Deinum

Colm McDonnell, IPM, Deinum:

“Since the start of the IPM breeding work in 1968, we have traditionally placed more emphasis on cultivating varieties for the fresh table potato sector and have had less success in processing. As we know, the lead time to the market is long, but we now have a series of new seedlings that are currently in the pre-national list stage in the breeding programme.”

“These varieties have excellent resistance genes against nematodes and they have a very good frying quality. This is because we test all our varieties in the fourth year with markers for potato cyst nematode resistance. ”

“Maverick and Gravity are currently our candidates for the French fries sector. Both varieties are yellow-fleshed. Maverick is suitable for fresh and frozen fries with Ro1 resistance. Gravity is a dual-purpose variety and has opportunities in the fresh and catering sector and the French-fry sector.”

“ In addition, I notice that the environment in which the potato industry operates is rapidly becoming professional, with the result that potato breeders have had full worksheets in front of them for years with the requirements that new varieties must meet.”

Maverick is a very high yielding variety primarily for the French fry sector, has resistance to drought & PCN Ro1, matures naturally and has long dormancy. Excellent fry colours from medium and long-term storage. The large tuber size and shape enable very good conversion rate to French fries.

Colm McDonnell:

“We focus on extreme weather conditions, reducing the use of crop protection chemicals, pressure on sprout inhibitors such as CIPC and the contamination of potato fields with potato cyst nematodes. New improved potato varieties that stand out in these challenging conditions are of vital importance.”

“We feel an obligation to produce varieties that can be grown in an environmentally friendly way. For a long time, breeders have focused on characteristics such as resistance to pests and diseases, drought tolerance and the processing of storage characteristics. ”

“To a certain extent, the potato chain has not implemented these improvements, because there were other corrective measures available.”

“Changes in the availability of crop protection chemicals and sprout inhibitors are, in my opinion, a game changer in the European potato sector.As the farmer’s toolbox is emptied by the legislators, the selection of varieties will become more important than ever before.”

IPM potato variety Gravity - a very high yielding maincrop variety - is suitable for the fresh market, French fries and peeling/catering.

Potato Variety Presentation IPM

IPM holds its presentations from November 6 to 8 at:
Gildenweg 15
The Netherlands