New potato varieties tackle carbon footprint

The Sarvari Research Trust in Wales has launched four new potato varieties designed to help growers reduce their carbon footprint.

The four new varieties - Sarpo Una, Sarpo Shona, Blue Danube and Kifli - were awarded listing status by the Potato Council in June, following 10 years of research and trials.

They were officially launched last Friday (14 August) on the trust's open day, where visitors were shown Sarvari trials at Henfaes and Anglesey.

They are being described by the trust as "low-carbon" varieties as their high resistance to blight and other diseases and pests means that they require fewer chemical treatments and are suitable for organic growing.

Director of research David Shaw said: "There's a great deal of interest, following Defra's first UK Food Security Assessment, in making our crops more environmentally friendly and sustainable. People often find it a desperate struggle to grow healthy potatoes organically - they just can't do it. But what we have got is potatoes that can stand on their own two feet.

"They do not need spraying - blight, aphid or weed sprays - and they are vigorous so they require less fertiliser.

"They are also more drought-resistant and can be stored in an uncooled store, so they do not need anti-sprout chemicals. It's too good to be true in some ways. And yes, you can actually eat them."

The Kifli variety on the British Potato Variety Database, for example, has been given the maximum rating of nine for its resistance to the potato cyst nematode.

CHARACTERISTICS

Sarpo Una Early main crop with good foliage blight and tuber blight resistance.

Sarpo Shona Blight-resistant and potato virus Yo-resistant white-skinned variety with early main-crop maturity.

Kifli Long, white-skinned variety with medium resistance to late blight and high resistance to potato virus Yo.

Blue Danube Second early main-crop with blue-skinned tubers. It has good resistance to potato virus Yo and leafroll viruses, blackleg, dry rot (Fusarium solani x coeruleum) and PCN Ro1.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

How big are the UK and Europe's apple and pear harvests likely to be?

After a sizeable dip last year, Europe's apple harvest looks to be back on track, and could even break recent records. But the wider global situation means it should find a ready market.

What is the future for glyphosate?

What is the future for glyphosate?

The horticulture industry has defended glyphosate after a landmark US court case saw chemical company Monsanto ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a groundskeeper who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

The cost of vehicle thefts from farms is rising, while trust in the police's ability to deal with rural crime is in decline, two new reports show.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon