Canada: In search of better chippers, wedgers and mashers

20170215 Tatters roThere were a lot of new potato varieties to choose from at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Potato Selection Release Open House. This was the second year the Ontario release has been held in Guelph. Every year, federally sponsored plant scientists come up new strains of tatters. A few weeks in advance of the planting season, those varieties and the scientific evidence related to them are put on display. Growers then have the option to test them out. Vanessa Currie is a research technician with U of G’s potato research program. She was on-hand at the release. The potato industry, she said, is varied and always changing. There are table potatoes and chipping potatoes, potatoes that make optimal French fries and those that make the best wedges. This year, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is excited by the new varieties of red potatoes. One new line is testing well as a wedge contender, and another has improved cold storage capacities. Red-skinned varieties made up about half of the total selections at the open house.