New potato cultivar evaluation for McCain Foods (PT07021)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The evaluation and identification of new French fry cultivars with improved processing and agronomic characteristics adapted to different production regions of Australia is essential for the French fry potato industry to remain competitive, profitable and sustainable.
New varieties need to have yield and French fry processing parameters equal to or greater than existing processing varieties. Cultivar selection requires the variety to have improved specific French fry quality parameters and show stable high yields. Varieties need to be efficient or require reduced inputs such as chemical and fertilisers to have minimum impact on the environment and reduce the costs of production.
McCain Foods (Aust) Pty Ltd and Safries Pty Ltd in partnership with the McCain growers groups in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania and the Safries grower group in South Australia along with matching funds from HAL have tested potential new potato lines for the French fry industry over the past twelve months. Trials were conducted in Ballarat (Victoria), Forthside (Tasmania) and Penola (South Australia).
This project has evaluated and identified potential new varieties for the French fry industry. Under previous evaluation projects some varieties were selected as potential replacements and these continue to be evaluated.
Further evaluation of breeding lines across production environments is needed to determine their potential for commercialisation. It is planned that this project is continued next season to carry out further evaluation of some highly potential varieties.
Assessments of advanced cultivars are showing very good results and the likely chance of a replacement cultivar is high, with one Australian breed cultivar in early stages of commercialisation.
Due to unforeseen climatic conditions the South Australian trial was abandoned in December. Shortly after planting an extreme rain event saturated the trial site causing wide spread seed piece breakdown. With less then 5 per cent of the trial and surrounding crop emerging it was decided to discard the entire pivot site.
Historically we have had a replicated trial site in NSW at Berrigan, assessing early delivery schedule cultivars. However during season 2007-2008 water allocations in the Riverina were minimal therefore our early delivery crops were not planted taking away the opportunity for a trial site.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of McCain Foods (Aust) Pty Ltd.
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