Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 10 POTATO GROWER A Variety Development Program Evolves by Ryan Krabill, Research Director, Potatoes USA In late September and early October, more than 200 samples of early gen- eration potato clones were loaded on trucks in Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Maine. Their destination: the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Potato Research Worksite in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. They constituted the 2016 class of the National Fry Processor Trials (NFPT)—a coopera- tive effort between growers, proces- sors, and breeders to identify prom- ising new clones for the fry sector. On October 17, the clone samples were joined in East Grand Forks by representatives from NFPT stake- holders J.R. Simplot Company, McCain Foods, Cavendish Farms, Lamb Weston, McDonald’s, and sev- eral state potato organizations including the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association for the 2016 NFPT Field Day. Several breed- ers and other program cooperators also attended. The samples—up to 48 from each state—were judged on length, shape, size distribution, and overall merit. During the course of storage, they will be further evaluated for sucrose and glucose content, acry- lamide content, specific gravity, and the highest performers will undergo processor analysis in a test kitchen. The goal of the NFPT program is to bring together representatives of the fry sector from growers to end users for the common benefit of the sec- tor through the development of new potato varieties that will meet consumer demands. The program is in its sixth year. Beginning in the 2017 crop year, the NFPT program will build upon its successful history and adopt a more targeted approach to the evaluation of participating clones. Up until now, all clones have largely under- gone the same frequency and types of testing, regardless of their agro- nomic traits. The upside of this approach is that it creates more con- sistent data, but can result in expen- sive post-harvest evaluations that might not always be warranted. By adopting a tiered approach, the NFPT program will be able to identi- fy clones that are unlikely to work for the sector in a commercial grow- ing environment early in the process and evaluate them accord- ingly. Evaluation of participating clones will be further facilitated by the development of a new, state-of- the-art data management system that will provide 24/7 access to pro- gram cooperators as soon as July 1, 2017. Under the new structure, up to 40 clones will be entered into Tier 1 in their first year in the program. The following year, that number will be thinned to no more than 20. In the third and final year, there will be no more than 10 clones remaining in Tier 3. In this way, we can establish a basic set of entry-level criteria with minimal associated cost while directing resources toward clones that exhibit preliminary promise in commercial growing conditions. Ultimately, participating clones will be limited to three years in the pro- gram, which is also a new feature. After three years in the program, processors will be able to pursue commercialization strategies for spe- cific clones that best suit their needs. The 2016 NFPT Field Day would not have been possible without the sup- port from the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association and USDA ARS Potato Research Worksite facilities and staff. The program is well-served by their expertise and experience, which is particularly beneficial in such a central location, and we appreciate their partnership. GROWER,PACKER&SHIPPER OFREDPOTATOES 701-772-620 | 4320 18th Ave. S., Grand Forks, ND 58201 let’s dig deeper. www.blackgoldfarms. CONTACT: Keith Groven: keith.groven@blackgoldfarms.com Casey Bryam: casey.bryam@blackgoldfarms.com Leah Brakke: leah.brakke@blackgoldfarms.com Don Ladhoff: don.ladhoff@blackgoldfarms.com