Idaho Potato Varieties
The keys to maintaining the state of the potato… The state of the potato is the diligence with which we approach all levels of potato cultivation.
Doug Gross, former Idaho Potato Commissioner and potato grower in Wilder, Southwestern Idaho.
“Potato breeding is what’s going to help us fight future diseases that we’re going to face and allow us to use less chemistry, we grow the crops and are more sustainable,” Gross said.
“And a lot of people don’t realize how many different varieties of potatoes there are. And then the different characteristics of each and how they will do well in different regions, or some are more drought resistant or they mature earlier, so customers around the world are looking for different varieties that will do well in their region, and we have a great collection here that I can share with them,” Durrin said.
In fact, the U of I’s new germplasm lab maintains disease-free tissue cultures for about 300 different potato varieties, some of which have names you probably don’t know.
“Yeah, like Magic Molly, it’s crazy. We have the purple font. We have many, many different redheads. Palisades rufous, Premier rufous, Rainier rufous, Clearwater dogfish, Blazer dogfish, Burbank dogfish…I mean many, many different types.
“World famous, world famous Idaho potatoes. What we have here at the University of Idaho is a world-class research team. And so world-class potatoes, world-class research at a world-class university, we now have a world-class building to go with it and I couldn’t be more proud as a producer in the State of Idaho,” said Nick Blanksma, Chairman of the Elmore County Farm Bureau, former commissioner of the Idaho Potato Commission.