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Den Hartigh: 'For growers, it's important to offer harvest and quality assurance.'

Jacob Eising, Den Hartigh, Emmeloord: 'For growers, it's important to offer harvest and quality assurance.'

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!

Den Hartigh BV, Emmeloord

Jacob Eising, Den Hartigh BV, Emmeloord:

“There’s certainly still room for new French-fry varieties. It’s our job to find a balance between cultivation and market. This means that a new variety must have improved market characteristics and can only be successful if it adds something to the existing cultivation package.”

“This is why we’re paying a great deal of attention to the fine-tuning of a new variety. With our new King Russet variety, we're showing the research results to a select group of people here. We have a separate cell here with sixteen trays with beautiful big tubers, which we’ve collected from research that focuses on the basic material.”

“We want to find out how to store the seed of a variety in the storehouse in the most optimal way. We use Talent, Ethylene, turning and cold storage methods and combinations of all these factors. We also examine the planting distance. For the cultivation of ware potatoes, we examine whether a variety is suitable for different soil types and how a variety responds to the cutting of seed for cultivating ware potatoes.”

“Because the King Russet is a variety with eyes everywhere on the entire tuber, we see in this study that the yield of cut seed potatoes in the cultivation of ware potatoes is no lower than that of whole seed potatoes.”

“What I notice is that it’s increasingly difficult for growers to harvest a good product. So we must offer growers reliability, which means we must be very innovative in order to keep up with the situation in the crop, which is continuing to deteriorate.”

King Russet is a medium early French fries variety with white flesh and Russet skin. King Russet has regular long-oval tubers. It has excellent characteristics for early processing, but also very suitable for processing after storage.

Jacob Eising:

“Growing potatoes is increasingly resembling a roulette system. So for the growers, it’s important to offer harvest and quality assurance. In the customer market, we talk about basic properties such as the distribution of dry matter in the tuber. Obtaining sufficient length in French-fry varieties and growing potatoes without internal defects caused by all kinds of nematodes.”

“Due to the high level of the existing large varieties, improvement is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. I’d dare to say that with the arrival of the King Russet, the QSR market can return to a true white-fleshed variety. This variety has even more to offer compared to the existing varieties in the fast food segment.”

“In terms of nematode resistance, this variety is officially highly resistant to the Ro1 - Pallida 3 range.For the French-fry industry, the variety gives a very homogeneous product,it’s high in dry matter, and has a nice tuber length.”

“We can bring 90 percent of the yield to the factory. In this new generation of French-fry varieties, we’ve now gained control of a number of negatively-linked genes. This means that we’ve now also largely gained control of characteristics such as grey discolouration and yield.”

Potato Variety Presentation Den Hartigh BV

Den Hartigh BV holds its presentations from November 6 to 8 at:
Produktieweg 2
8304 AV Emmeloord
The Netherlands