Development and Sustainable Production of New Potato Varieties for Idaho
There have been significant technological advancements in potato production in recent years that have significantly improved crop production efficiency. However, substantial increases in transportation, fuel, fertilizer, pesticide and processing costs and changing consumer preferences have created an even greater need for improved potato production efficiency and nutritional quality. Potato production efficiency must therefore be improved to offset increasing transportation and finishing costs, and to keep the industry competitive with ever increasing foreign imports. Future improvement clearly depends on the introduction of new potato varieties because the dominant varieties currently grown, such as Russet Burbank and Russet Norkotah, have serious production and quality limitations. New potato varieties with reduced requirements for fertilizer,
water and pesticide inputs offer improved yield, processing quality and nutritional characteristics while reducing the demand for pesticides and limited fertilizer and water resources. Improved varieties should also reduce unit production costs, provide more uniform quality for fresh-pack and processing, decrease storage losses, and enhance processing recovery Results from this project will therefore be used to promote adoption of new potato varieties as a way to reduce inputs, improve economic returns, and promote sustainable production practices. The results will also immediately benefit the estimated producers already growing newly released varieties by supplying detailed management recommendations that will allow reductions in pesticide, fertilizer and irrigation inputs. As improved varieties are adopted, quality and production efficiency will continue to improve, fertilizer and
pesticide inputs will decrease, and environmental impact will be lessened. The overall impact will be to maintain or improve the competitiveness of the Northwest potato industry, assist farmers to retain their way of life, and improve the safety and quality of the work environment for all involved in potato production. Consumers will also benefit through the increased availability of more nutritional potato products and improved environmental quality.