Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potato trials and research provide grower information

05.08.2011
Whether it is a purple potato to fit a niche market or finding varieties resistant or at least tolerant to psyllid infestations, Dr. Creighton Miller has a potato plant in Texas aimed at meeting a grower's need.

Miller, a potato breeder with Texas AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M University department of horticultural sciences in College Station, has breeding trials near Springlake and Dalhart.

Selections are made from seedlings grown in breeding plots each year, he said. The children of these "families," as the parent plants are known in potato breeding, are grown in the test plots.

"About 100,000 children were raised this year from about 660 families in the Springlake and Dalhart trials," Miller said.

"Over the years, we've had a number of challenges," Miller said. "Most recently, the potato industry has been concerned about a disease called zebra chip, which causes the potato to turn dark in a striped pattern when fried.

"It's a major problem with the chip industry, so we have been screening different varieties looking for tolerance and/or resistance to the vector that carries this disease – the potato psyllid."

Miller said they have developed some very successful varieties over the years to meet growers' needs.

"When our program started, the average yields of the Texas summer crop were about 200 hundred-pound sacks per acre," he said. "Now they've reached an average yield of 460 hundred-pound sacks per acre – the highest in the nation among the 11 summer-crop states. So we feel this reflects the success of our program with improved varieties and cultural practices as well."

Bruce Barrett, who has cooperated with Miller for more than 25 years and allows 11 acres of his farm south of Springlake to be used in the Texas Potato Variety Development Program, agreed that Miller's work has been helpful.

"Several selections that they've made out of these trials are now the standard for us in the russet potatoes," Barrett said. "We grow Texas strains of Norkotah that Creighton developed, so obviously it was a huge thing. They have a more vigorous vine and, without them, we wouldn't be in the russet business."

Barrett said he's counting on future help from these trials also.

"Now we are facing the psyllid problem, and so hopefully with Creighton's help and the rest of the researchers and their efforts, we can take care of that problem too," he said.

Barrett said 2011 has been one of the hardest years to grow potatoes as far as environmental conditions – early cold to late freeze to heat and wind with no moisture, and low humidity – and noted "the plants didn't like it."

He said the potato crop started with very low yields as harvest began and is now about average, but there have been problems with heat sprouting and more misshaped tubers than normal.

"But I think we'll have a crop," Barrett said. "As always with a vegetable crop, weather makes it tough. It's always a compromise on decisions. It's not perfect, but we will get through it."

In Miller's trials, growers can see potatoes of different sizes and different colors, such as russet, red and yellow skinned, purple flesh, yellow flesh and selections for the potato chip market.

A booklet published from the trials tells the name, size, parenthood, maturing timing, vine size and what market a particular potato is grown for, such as specialty, fresh or chipping, he said. It also outlines the strengths and weaknesses of each selection.

"We are developing a variety with red skin and yellow flesh that looks good this year," Miller said. "The yellow flesh potatoes are more popular now – Yukon Gold has made them more popular and we are developing many different types of potatoes to reach that market."

All the information from both the Springlake and Dalhart field trials will be available at http://potato.tamu.edu.

For more information on the AgriLife Research potato breeding program, contact Miller at 979-845-3828 or cmiller@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Creighton Miller | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>