The latest and most innovative potato varieties available across Canada —which may just put your old favourites out to pasture.
Potato breeding in Canada is booming, and to keep our readers abreast of new developments, we reached out to the leading firms and organizations across the country to find out all about their latest and most innovative varieties. Without further ado, here is the new tuber roundup from coast to coast.
HZPC Canada – Vicky, Rickey Russet and Tyson
Vicky, from HZPC Canada based in Charlottetown, P.E.I., has red skin and white flesh. It’s ideal for the creamer market, and is great for roasting, baking and microwaving. Vicky has a high tuber set with consistent yields and uniform round shape. It also offers medium-to-early maturation and medium dormancy.
Rickey Russet has light yellow flesh with “exceptional taste and texture,” notes HZPC Canada, “making it ideal for the fresh market and for fresh cut french fries.” It’s a medium maturing variety with very consistent oval-to-oblong tubers, high pack-out potential and good storability.
Tyson is a medium-early variety with bright yellow skin/flesh and uniform round-oval shaped tubers with a high percentage of A-size and pack-out. This multipurpose cooking variety has “a sweet aroma, fresh flavour and stable sugars, making it ideal for packers supplying the retail and wholesale markets.”
Parkland Potato Varieties – Excellency, Anouk and Roko
Parkland Potato Varieties in Edmonton, Alta. wishes to highlight Excellency, which is suitable for both fresh market and processing. It’s a higher dry-matter potato with smooth yellow skin and pale-yellow flesh, and is suitable for most soil types.
The Anouk is a high-yielding, yellow skin, yellow flesh potato with good storability. Its high set and uniform round tuber shape, “makes it ideal” for the creamer market, says Parkland. It’s also resistant to late blight.
The Roko is a mid-to-late-maturing fresh market variety with good yields. Its tubers are uniform, oval/round shaped and have shallow eyes. The skin is a smooth deep red and the flesh is white. Cooking type is rather floury, while the dry matter content is moderate. Roko also has excellent virus resistance.
Progest 2001 — Alliston, Ariana and AAC Confederation
Progest 2001 in Sainte-Croix, Que. offers Alliston, an early variety with round tubers which sport very white flesh. It does well in warm weather but needs water to reach its full potential, Andre Gagnon, president of Progest 2001, explains. It has a short storage dormancy providing a quick start and early bulking. “With AC Chaleur as a parent, it has good fusarium control at seed reception,” says Gagnon. “It will keep a really nice smooth shape and skin finish if you keep it longer in the field, unlike other early varieties.”
Ariana (AG 709.11, undergoing registration) is an early-to-mid season fresh market variety with slightly creamy flesh and high yield potential. The tuber set is very uniform. This variety stores very well and is “perfect to harvest just after Alliston.”
AAC Confederation has round, yellow flesh with a high set of uniform tubers. It offers a high yield potential of medium-sized tubers. In Laval University’s taste trials, this variety obtained the best tasting score ever at 18.5 out of 20, says Gagnon.
New Brunswick Department of Agriculture – Reveille Russet, Nonpareil Russet, Maritime Russet
Reveille Russet is a fresh market variety with oblong tubers, excellent size and medium-to-early maturity. In 2019, its average dry land total yield was 11.5 per cent higher than Russel Burbank, and marketable yield 55 per cent more. It’s highly resistant to hollow heart, second growth, blackspot, drought and early dying. It has an improved culinary quality and stores better than Russet Norkotah.
The Nonpareil Russet is a dual-purpose variety with smooth long tubers and mid-season maturity. Its average dry-land total yield is 26.6 per cent higher than Goldrush, with 30.3 per cent more marketable yield. The tubers are resistant to hollow heart, second growth, growth crack, shatter bruise and blackspot. It has good tolerance to drought and early dying. This is “a serious candidate” to replace the industry standard Russet Norkotah and Goldrush in the count trade market, says New Brunswick potato specialist Jacques Lavoie”
Maritime Russet is another dual-purpose russet variety with oblong tubers, a nice smooth appearance and mid-to-late maturity. Average dry-land total yield is similar to Russet Burbank but the marketable yield is 15.3 per cent higher. Its tubers are resistant to hollow heart, second-growth, growth crack and scab. It offers significantly lower acrylamide formation, resulting in exceptional average fry colours from cold storage. It also offers good tolerance to drought and early dying.
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) – AAC Canada Gold-Dorée, AAC Red Viol and AAC Hamer
AAC Canada Gold-Dorée (licensed by Canadian Eastern Growers) is a fresh market variety with a shiny yellow skin and a light-yellow flesh. This variety is great for boiling, baking and has shown strong yields. It’s resistant to potato virus Y and common scab.
AAC Red Viola (licensed by Kroeker Farms) is intended for the baby potato market for boiling and baking. It has deep red skin and bright white flesh. This high-yielding variety produces tubers of uniform size. It’s medium maturing, with high scab resistance and keeps its red skin colour even after cooking.
AAC Hamer (licensed by Parkland Seed Potatoes) is a mid-season round white variety for the fresh market as well as chipping. This higher-set variety maintains a good chipping quality directly from the field and cold storage. It has smooth skin with shallow eyes and shows resistance to common scab, late blight and fusarium dry rot.
Sunrise Potato – SP326 and SP327
Sunrise Potato in Alliston, Ont. has developed SP326 and SP327 for the chipping sector.
“Both varieties are well adapted to the growing conditions from Manitoba to Quebec with excellent yields and medium to high levels of dry matter, and prove to have good fry quality,” says owner Peter VanderZaag.
SP327 is under a license agreement with La Patate Lac-Sainte-Jean.
Solanum International – River Russet, Red Apple, Autumn Rose
From Stony Plain, Alta.-based Solanum International is River Russet, an attractive white-fleshed table variety with a similar maturity to Russet Norkotah, and overall better taste and texture. This large, shallow-eyed russet has a natural resistance to browning after cutting and resistance to bruising as well.
Red Apple’s round tubers have deep red, smooth skin and yellow flesh. It’s a high-set and high-yielding table variety which tolerates heat and drought and is suitable for organic production.
Autumn Rose is “an excellent tasting red-skinned, white-fleshed table variety with slightly mealy texture,” says spokesperson Phil Bakker. “It is early maturing, high yielding, stores well, and ha
s fairly good resistance to common scab.”
Edmonton Potato Growers – Tornado, Nobless and AC Heather
Tornado is an early-maturing, high-yielding, medium-sized potato meant for the fresh/french fry market. It has deep red skin, white flesh and long uniform tubers, with good heat and drought tolerance. Its parentage is Druid x Kondor. It has good overall keeping quality.
Noblesse (from HZPC) is a multi-purpose variety for the fresh/french fry market with great culinary range from boiling to baking. It has yellow skin and dark yellow flesh. Tubers are medium-sized and uniform, with medium-to-high tuber set, good dormancy and good drought and heat resistance.
AC Heather is a fresh market variety produced by AAFC breeders which shows moderate resistance to common scab. The tubers are oval with smooth, dark red skin and white flesh. It has shown high yields across all trial sites and good boil and bake scores. Plant vigour is moderate, maturity is mid-season, and dormancy is intermediate (longer than Norland).