Growing Futures

Potatoes for boiling, crisping or chipping

Potatoes for boiling, crisping or chipping

New potato cultivars that meet the needs of the domestic and export markets

New Zealand produces 586,000 tonnes of potatoes each year, with a value of $570 million. The majority of the harvest is eaten by the domestic market, but 18% of the value is generated by exports of processed potatoes, mainly French fries.

The potato breeding programme develops cultivars for both the fresh and process markets. Resistance to pests and diseases found in New Zealand – such as the tomato-potato psyllid, powdery scab and potato virus Y – is important in the development of a new cultivar, as are yield and other production traits. For the process market, potatoes that have the right shape and size for processing are preferred, as are those not affected by storage disorders at low temperatures, such as cold induced sweetening. The fresh market requires potatoes that are attractive and have good taste profiles.

Plant & Food Research has released nine potato cultivars to the New Zealand market since 1995. The most grown of these is 'Moonlight', a high yielding potato with good pest and disease resistance, suitable for pre-packing and processing into French fries. It is estimated around 12% of the total area of potato production in New Zealand is planted with ‘Moonlight’.

The New Zealand potato breeding programme is funded by Potatoes New Zealand and Plant & Food Research.

Created: September 2013

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