b'NDSU Develops Potato Variety Now Approved For McDonalds World Famous FriesThemostrecentpotatovarietytowas officially named and released intouse,promptingustopursue join the list of approved McDonalds2012. The approval process for theapproval, said Tina Brandt, variety potato varieties is the Dakota Russet,DakotaRussettobeacceptedbydevelopmentmanageratJ.R. developedatNorthDakotaStateMcDonaldswascompletedinSimplot Company. UniversitybyAsuntaThompson,March2022.TheDakotaRussetisassociate professor of plant scienceoneofeightvarietiesacceptedinBasedonnationaltestingand and potato breeder.NorthAmerica.Themostrecentgrowerevaluation,theDakotaadditions to the McDonalds NorthRussetiswidelyadaptedacross TheDakotaRussethasuniform,American varieties were in 2016.North America, said Carl Hoverson blockytubers,creamywhiteflesh ofHoversonFarms,andpartner and golden russet skin that is wellOur world-famous fries always startwithRonOffuttandR.D.Offutt suited for fry applications. The vari- withourpotatoes.WecouldntbeFarms.Italsothrivesduringa etyproduceslowsugars,whichmoreexcitedtointroduceDakotashortergrowingseason,whichis results in consistent French fry colorRusset to our quality group of pota- important with the variable weather and less undesired defects like darkto varieties used to produce them,conditionsweexperienceherein ends.Improvedfrytextureconsis- saidDanielRoche,McDonaldstheMidwest.Withthisvarietywe tency can be attributed to the pota- global quality system manager, agri- areabletoconsistentlyobtainan toes high specific gravity and con- cultural products. We spend yearsexcellent fry quality. sistent internal dry matter distribu- testingnewpotatovarietiesbeforetion (solids).they are introduced to our suppliersThehighlysuccessfultraitsofthisand restaurantsincluding rigorousvariety help to improve agronomic Thisisadreamcometrue,testing for quality, sensory and con- sustainabilitybyproducingmore Thompson said. Having our russetsumer validationto ensure all thequality potatoes per acre. acceptedbyMcDonaldsfortheirpotatoes we use meet our high stan- French fries is the gold standard wedards. The Dakota Russet has deliv- ThedevelopmentoftheDakota all strive for. Cultivar developmentered a great appearance, flavor andRusset,anditsacceptancefrom takesateamandthisdifficulttextureproducing the same greatMcDonaldsasapotatovariety achievement would not have beentaste our customers love.speakstotheinnovativeresearch possiblewithoutsupportfromthe happeninghereatNDSU,NDSU NDSUpotatoimprovementteam,TheDakotaRussetwasdevelopedPresident David Cook said. Our tal-potato farmers and agriculture part- with the needs of Midwest farmersented researchers work hard to con-ners.Mygoalsincereturningtoinmind,producingconsistentlytributetothesuccessofourstate NDSU in 2001 was to identify supe- highyieldsandfittingtheshorterand the world. rior cultivars across market types. Igrowingseasonwithitsmediumfocusedonearliermaturitywhichmaturity. The variety also thrives inThe Dakota Russet has begun rolling would allow greater opportunity fora wide range of climatic conditions.out to McDonalds suppliers, where economicandenvironmentalsus- It is extremely resilient, demonstrat- they are peeled, cut and prepared for tainabilityforourfarmers,whileing resistance to several of the com- restaurantstoturnintothesame helping address the global challengemondiseasestypicallypresentinhot,crispyfriesMcDonaldscus-of feeding the world.potatoes.tomers love. The cross (traditional hybridization)The excellent and consistent agro- Asastudent-focused,land-grant, wasmadein1999andThompsonnomic and processing performancesresearchinstitution,weserveour selected the seedling in the single- of Dakota Russet is exactly the kindcitizens. hill nursery in fall 2001. The varietyof quality potato McDonalds looks 24 POTATO GROWER JULY/AUGUST 2022'