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C. Meijer BV: 'There's a constant need for new potato varieties, also for French fries.'

Willem in 't Anker, C. Meijer BV, Rilland: 'There's a constant need for new varieties, also for French fries.'

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!

C. Meijer BV, Rilland

Willem in 't Anker, C. Meijer BV, Rilland:

“You can also ask the question differently. Why are there potato breeding companies? The answer to that is, because there's a constant need for new varieties, also for French fries.”

“Breeders often focus on the distant future in their work. We also do that, although it's not always a guarantee for the envisaged result.”

“What do you choose as a breeding goal? A long time age, we already started a breeding programme that focuses on the possible disappearance of the Chlorine IPC sprout inhibitor.”

“Lady Anna, a crossfrom 2001, was the variety that resulted from this programme, among others.”

“At the time that we had a suitable candidate, some ten years ago now, the sprout inhibitor was still in full use, which meant that there wasn't really the need for a French-fry variety with very strong dormancy.”

The C. Meijer potato variety Lady Anna resulted from a breeding programme back in 2001, focused on very strong dormancy - just in case sprout inhibitor CIPC would disappear

Willem in 't Anker:

“Fortunately, the variety also had good cultivation and processing characteristics. This meant that, five years later, we already had a seed potato area of 175 hectares and the variety achieved a good position in the top 10 of the Dutch seed potato growing areas.”

“Also, as a breeding company, you don't bet on one horse and we always have several irons in the fire. What we currently need the most are varieties with a reliable yield.”

“The year of drought that's just behind us has opened our eyes to that. And as a breeding company, we've also had a programme for robust varieties for many years.”

“We can go ahead immediately with this. And I'm talking about crossing results that are still numbers, but which are so popular that they're already going to customers.”

“A very serious contender is the CMK2010-604-006. This number provides a nice, stable yield, also in dry years like last year. The tubers are long and block-shaped from which a lot of long French fries can be cut.”

Potato Variety Presentation C. Meijer BV, Rilland

C. Meijer BV, Rilland holds its presentations from November 6 to 8 at:
Verlengde Gildenweg 10 B
The Netherlands