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Rindert Dankert, Breeding Company Kooi, Leeuwarden: 'In order to increase a possible success, we focus mainly on the early segment.'

Rindert Dankert, Breeding Company Kooi, Leeuwarden: 'In order to increase a possible success, we focus mainly on the early segment.'

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!

Breeding Company Kooi, Leeuwarden

Rindert Dankert, Breeding Company Kooi, Leeuwarden:

“There's both opportunity and room for new French-fry varieties. If you take the question further to what our chancesare of finding a new French-fry variety, then, of course, they're a lot smaller than those of the well-known large trading companies.”

“We started with six thousand clones a year while at trading companies like Agrico and HZPC you're talking about hundreds of thousands of clones. However, I hope that, through accurate crossing, we’ll find contenders for the French-fry segment.”

“In order to increase a potential success, we focus mainly on the early segment, as replacing that is more logical for us than with a bigger French-fry variety. We'd already be very happy with about 100 hectares of a variety.”

“We're working hard on that too, but for now, it's still very difficult to get numbers that combine early maturity with the desired underwater weight that's higher than 400. In order to get that far, you can do nothing but develop numbers and wait for something to come up.”

Festo is an early to medium-early variety, with a high yield of attractive tubers. Nice long-oval tuber shape with a very bright skin colour. Very suitable for production for fresh market and home-fries.

Rindert Dankert:

“What we do have more material for is seedlings in the home-made chips segment. The most advanced in this development is our young Festo variety. We now have 10 hectares of seed of that variety.”

“This type of home-made chips variety is easier for a small breeding company such as ours to select, because the requirements are less stringent than for QSR fries.”

“You could describe it as a lazier form of breeding. The ends of the chips may discolour a bit, for example, which is even a characteristic that home fryers prefer.”

“In France, the variety has certainly caught the eye of home fryers and interest is currently increasing significantly. It would be great for our affiliated seed potato growers if the growth continued, because the variety is easy to cultivate and is also strong against scabies.”

“That doesn't mean you should plant them in the most sensitive scabies soils, though, because that's obviously asking for trouble.”

Potato Variety Presentation Breeding Company Kooi

Breeding Company Kooi holds its presentations on November 7 and 8 at:
Hotel Van der Valk
Hooiveld 9
The Netherlands
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