Potato Grower

September 2018

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 29 • Variable rate fumigation for nematodes and diseases • Variable rate fertilization • Soils • Nematodes • DNA • Consulting • GAP • All viruses • Tissue • Irrigation Scheduling www.westernlaboratories.com 800-658-3858 WESTERN LABORATORIES 140539WesLab16h.indd 1 5/30/14 11:35 AM total package, Vales said. The crossing block has around 70 parents. "We generate fruits or berries containing true potato seed from that; we plant the seed to generate seedling tubers that go to the field for the first year," she said. "They are planted at our Springlake and Dalhart locations. This year there are 70,000 different genotypes." When harvested, Vales said all the tubers are looked at and compared by size, shape, color and other qualities. Selection is stringent at that level, with only 1 to 2 percent selected to be re-planted in the second field year. The seed is increased and additional selections are made every year. "Once we have enough seed from one variety, we will move them to replicated trials, where we pay attention to yield, quality, disease resistance, chipping quality and other parameters," Vales said. Selections then are moved to the national level and placed in the Southwestern trials, which include Texas, Colorado and California, she said. If they pass that level, they go to the Western Region trials, which include those three states as well as Washington, Idaho and Oregon. The chipping potatoes have a separate national effort with several other states and trials, Vales said. While Texas A&M has a big breeding effort in chipping, she said they are not ready to release anything yet. Growers interested in working with any cultivars from the Texas A&M Potato Breeding and Variety Development Program are encouraged to contact Dr. Isabel Vales at isabel.vales@tamu.edu. day hosted by the Texas Program. Isabel Vales, Texas A&M AgriLife Research potato breeder in College Station, visits with Tasteful Selections representative Kelly Kuball during the recent field day. Russet stars of the Texas A&M potato breeding program, from left to right: an unnamed specialty variety with pink eyes; Vanguard, being released this year ; Reveille, released in 2015; and the longstanding Norkotah.

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