Hybrid Potatoes - Part Two
Sixteen year old company Solynta is a pioneer in developing hybrid varieties of potatoes. But potatoes are already a pretty efficient crop. I asked Solynta’s director of strategic alliances Charles Miller for an example of how hybridization might help the industry.
Miller… “We know that roughly 30 percent of potato yields around the world are impacted every year due to late blight. And late blight is actually quite common in many of the production areas in the U. S. Now, chemicals are available to spray, farmers spray quite extensively, and it's not cheap. So we thought, well, we know there are genes that create resistances to late blight. Let's identify those. Let's stack more than one of those into some of our genetics, and then let's see if it really does work, and you can actually grow a crop competitively without having to spray for blight.”
Miller said using the latest in molecular breeding and growth chamber technology, the company was able to providing pre-commercial products to test in just 18 months.
Miller… “And those new hybrids can go 90 to 120 days with very heavy blight infestations and still produce a competitive yield.”
Miller said this is just one example of why hybrid potato genetics can be a game changer for the industry.