S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 POTATO GROWER 17 Turning Back The Clock A Look Back 25 Years Ago at Excerpts from The September 1992 Issue of The Valley Potato Grower Magazine Breeding Programs Release New Tablestock Varieties Two tablestock varieties have been released within the past couple months, one from the state of Maine and one from Nebraska. Researchers in Maine have recently released a new tablestock potato variety that has shown some resist- ance to Verticillium wilt and Rhizoctonia. The Maine Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) at the University of Maine, in cooperation with the Campbell Institute for Research and Technology (CIRT) released the variety called “Portage.” Portage, named after the initial lake in the Fish River chain of lakes in Aroostook County of Presque Isle, was developed and tested by Dr. Alvin Reeves. Portage is a white skinned, white fleshed potato with an attractive round to oblong shape and medium to shallow eyes in the tubers that grow rapidly for the fresh market. In field tests, Portage produced higher yields than Superior but slightly lower yields than Kennebec. Tests show that Portage exhibits less greening under fluores- cent lighting than most standard white skinned varieties, which is important in retail outlets as chem- ical changes taking place in pota- toes when under such lighting over periods of time make them less attractive to consumers. Development of the new variety began in 1976 and was entered into the Northeastern Regional Potato Variety Trials in 1985. Three Maine seed growers planted Portage this year and commercial seed is expect- ed to be available for the next grow- ing season. Portage is the fifth vari- ety to be jointly released by MAES and CIRT. The Agricultural Research division of the University of Nebraska- Lincoln has released the potato variety “Red Cloud,” which was developed and tested by Dr’s Robert O’Keefe and Alexander Pavlista, Department of Horticulture. Named after the famous Sioux chief, the new variety is a red skinned, white cultivar chosen for its deep red color which holds dur- ing storage, and its above average yield, high dry matter content, scab resistance and heat tolerance. The primary market for Red Cloud is the tablestock market for boiling, mashing, and baking. It has a mid season maturity and its tubers long dormancy requires special storage handling for seed. It is tolerant to common scab, early dying, wilts and early blight. It does not tend to have vascular discol- oration, nor hollowheart. Its main tuber defect is the formation of off- types. Seed will be available for the next growing season.