Several potato varieties have shown promise in the Kern County Potato Variety Trial. The overall project consists of the Southwest Regional Trial, the Kern County Variety Trial, and the Observational Trial. Kern County Vegetable Crops Advisor Jaspreet Sidhu explained some of the findings from the trial has interesting results.
“Each variety is replicated four times just to minimize variation…we do this trial every year. We plant in January or February and then harvest in June,” Sidhu noted. “This year we had 92 varieties in this trial: 17 in the Southwest Regional Trial, seven in the Kern and then 72 in Observational.”
The Southwest Regional Trial is conducted in collaboration with Texas A&M University and Colorado State University, with breeders contributing varieties to be trialed in California. Of the 17 entries, the highest yield was 236 hundredweight from the AC11467-4 W variety. Sidhu explained that many of the varieties performed beyond the standards set for the russet, chipper, and specialty varieties.
The potato varieties used in the Kern County Trial were sourced from public and private breeders from throughout North America. Electra showed to have the highest yield during the trial with 358 hundredweight, however other varieties also showed promise.
“In Kern County the three varieties that were outstanding was Electra, Certa, and Primabelle. They had really high yields and the potatoes were shiny and good in terms of the size and the skins,” said Sidhu. “Some of them were late maturing, some of them were early maturing. Electra has the highest yield in that trial.”
The Observational Trial involved potato varieties that have very little data available. The trial incorporated varieties from all breeders and were tested to see how they would perform in Kern County’s growing conditions. Of the 72 entries, a few varieties stood out from the others.
“We had some good ones like the Goldeye and Almera varieties,” Sidhu noted. “These are yellow tubers with yellow or off-white skin. These were early maturing and really high yield with good uniform tuber size. No diseases were observed and minimal bruising or blemishes on the tubers.”