Reveille Russet makes a name for itself in the potato market
Fields of the new variety could be seen adjacent to the potato plots featured in the 2015 annual Potato Field Day held recently near Springlake on the Barrett Farm and hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M department of horticultural sciences.
Attendees check out potato varieties grown by the Texas A&M Potato Breeding and Variety Development Program at the 2015 annual Potato Field Day near Springlake on the Barrett Farm. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Kay Ledbetter)
Miller said many of these seedlings come from exchanges with other universities such as North Dakota State, Oregon State and Colorado State. At the recent field day, 280 selections were displayed side-by-side with vines and dug potatoes.
National and international representatives from many different facets of the industry, from seed to transportation, were at the field day to look at the new potato varieties, which included red, white, purple and russet skinned potatoes with both white and yellow flesh, some round, some oblong and all headed to one of three markets: fresh, processing or chipping.
Dr. Creighton Miller, AgriLife Research potato breeder in College Station on the Texas A&M Potato Breeding Program
The variety is a russet baking potato headed to the fresh market. The attributes that make it stand out are taste and flavor, he said.
“In all our taste panels, the ratings were very high,” Miller said. “It also has wide adaptability, as it has been successfully grown in Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Michigan and here in Texas, so it can be grown across the nation.
“Also, its earliness allows growers to get their crop out before bad things happen after maturity. It also doesn’t seem to skin as much as some of the current varieties, which has an impact on consumer appeal in the store.”
Another important quality, he said, is its “high pack-out,” which means most of the tubers grown are marketable.
Another is a pinto, a potato with yellow flesh and yellow and red skin, which will give it appeal in the specialty market, he said. And another russet making its way through the breeding program is very yellow fleshed.
“Unlike in Europe, in the U.S. we’ve had primarily white fleshed potatoes, and it is unique to have a russet potato with a yellow flesh,” Miller said. “The Yukon Gold has made a hit in the U.S. with its yellow flesh.
“Overall, we’ve had a good year,” he said. “There have been problems with late blight in the lower Rio Grande Valley with the earlier crops, but so far it has been a good year in the High Plains.”