• News
  • Potato Supply chain
  • Royal-ZAP/Semagri on potato breeding: 'It's a matter of starting somewhere and waiting for a chance hit.'
Royal-ZAP/Semagri on potato breeding: 'It's a matter of starting somewhere and waiting for a chance hit.'

Lammert Buwalda, Royal-ZAP/Semagri, Wieringerwerf on potato breeding: 'It's a matter of starting somewhere and waiting for a chance hit.'

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!


Royal-ZAP/Semagri, Wieringerwerf


Lammert Buwalda, Royal-ZAP/Semagri, Wieringerwerf:

“There is and always will be a demand for new French-fry varieties and that will never change. Only the standard of varieties has been raised to such a high level that it’s terribly difficult to replace the existing varieties.”

“What we’re increasingly looking for nowadays is the integration of resistances. That's something we can't avoid.”

“But it's extremely difficult, because inserting resistances is often accompanied by a reduction in yield. And that's exactly the challenge for the grower, which is why we do this work. It's a matter of starting somewhere and waiting for a chance hit.”

“I've worked with breeders who tried to look fifteen years ahead, hoping that they'd have exactly the right variety available at that time. And I've worked with breeders who said: 'I see two potential cross parents here. If we are to mix them, it should undoubtedly result in something beautiful.”
(Click to enlarge)

The potato variety Primavera from Royal-ZAP/Semagri is a very good early/mid-early variety that's perfect for French fries

Lammert Buwalda:

“I can tell you that the latter category always had the most results. An example of this is the Primavera. A very good early/mid-early variety that's perfect for French fries and that stands head and shoulders above existing varieties.”

“But also a variety for which we couldn't immediately find the right market. Two characteristics in which Primavera excels are drought resistance and length.”

“Now,if we've just had a dry season with a shortchip length, suddenly you'll see the interest grow. This is basically because, in the previous year, the variety had already received the attention of the processers and now it just had that little boost.”

“So coincidence, luck and availability at the right time mean that new varieties get a chance. And yes, that won't change.”

Potato Variety Presentation Royal-ZAP/Semagri

Royal-ZAP/Semagri holds its presentations from November 6 to 8 at:
Renne Streekproducten
Domineesweg 11
8308 PG NAGELE
The Netherlands
Help