Washington State University potato researchers seek new fresh pack varieties

Washington State University researchers are examining new potato varieties as an alternative for the leading fresh pack variety, the Russet Norkotah. WSU research assistant Rhett Spear says newer varieties can offer farmers more disease resistance and improved yields. The Russet Norkotah is fairly uniform with good yields and economic return, said Rhett Spear, Washington State University research assistant. But it’s also susceptible to Potato Virus Y and to verticillium wilt. The variety has poor flesh color and flavor after long periods in storage. Researchers in Pacific Northwest trials examine new varieties for economic value, even distribution of sizes, good yields, culinary attributes and storage capability, comparing them with varieties commonly grown in the Columbia Basin. The study includes taste tests at WSU. More