During the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, Wash., last week, new potato varieties were one of the main topics of discussion by researchers and growers eager to find new varieties that are disease-resistant and offer improved yields. Once such new variety is A03158-2TE, which was served at the event's potato bar luncheon. Jeanne Debons with the Potato Variety Management Institute (PVMI), a nonprofit organization that licenses and promotes Tri-State varieties, says that the name designation is a clone name that describes what the father and mother tuber are, but that will change soon.
"They're looking at possibly releasing this variety this December if all goes well," Debons said. "It's very high yielding, it tastes really good, has very few defects. But they'll come up with a really good name."
This particular variety is a nice-looking long russet potato with a natural resistance to disease and appears to be more efficient with inputs. It also has a unique property:
"It's interesting because in Washington it grows thinner and longer, and in Idaho it grows fatter and more oval," said Debons. "But in both places it gets excellent yields, so we have high hopes for it."
Debons says it can take years to develop new varieties, with researchers examining them for their economic value in comparison to other varieties commonly grown in the Pacific Northwest. Then it has to be determined whether growers and consumers will accept the new varieties. As far as the A03158-2TE variety-everyone agreed at the luncheon that day that it was quite tasty.