Idaho potato varieties
Doug Gross, former Idaho Potato commissioner and potato grower in Wilder, in southwest Idaho.
“Potato breeding is what’s going to help us tackle the future diseases the future diseases that we’re going to be facing and allows us to use less chemistry aa we grow the crops and be more sustainable,” said Gross.
“And a lot of people don’t realize how many different varieties of potatoes that there are. And then the different characteristics of each and how they will do well in different regions, or some are more drought resistant or they have earlier maturing, so customers from all over the world are looking for different varieties that will do well in their region, and we have a large collection here that I can share with them,” said Durrin.
In fact, the new germ plasm lab at U of I maintains disease free tissue cultures for about 300 different potato varieties, some with names you’re probably not be familiar with.
“Yeah, like Magic Molly, that’s a crazy one. We’ve got Purple Police. We have many, many different russets. Palisades russet, Premier russet, Rainier russet, Clearwater russet, Blazer russet, russet Burbank… I mean many, many different types.”
“Idaho potatoes, world renowned, world famous. What we have here at the University of Idaho is a world class research team. And so world class potatoes, world class research in a world class university, now we have a world class building to go along with it and I couldn’t make me more proud as a producers in the state of Idaho,” said Nick Blanksma, President of the Elmore County Farm Bureau, former Commissioner of Idaho Potato Commission.