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Eye on Potatoes: Alturas variety gaining popularity with potato producers

with potato producers


March 19, 2008
By Eye On Potatoes

Topics

Delicious and versatile, Alturas
potatoes are also highly popular with knowledgeable growers. This tuber
rates as the fifth most commonly planted potato in Idaho – the state
that produces more potatoes than any other.

Delicious and versatile, Alturas potatoes are also highly popular with knowledgeable growers. This tuber rates as the fifth most commonly planted potato in Idaho – the state that produces more potatoes than any other. Alturas is suitable for processing, not only into frozen potato products – or dehydrated foods such as instant potato flakes – but also for fresh-pack sale in supermarkets, according to Richard G. Novy, based in Aberdeen, Idaho, about 200 miles southeast of Boise. Novy is a co-developer of the top-ranked tuber, along with Joseph J. Pavek, Dennis L. Corsini, Charles R. Brown, plus university co-investigators in Washington state, Idaho, and Oregon. After more than a decade of evaluations – including taste tests, trials in research fields, and experiments at potato-processing plants – the scientists decided to offer Alturas potato to growers in 2002. Their decision came after the tuber had, for example, met the exacting standards of taste-test panelists and had, in the outdoor trials, yielded more potatoes than the classic Russet Burbank – the “American Idol” of the potato world, against which all promising experimental potatoes are compared. Alturas has a light netting or russeting, which distinguishes russets from other potato types, on its light-tan skin, with white flesh inside. Researchers named Alturas for a prehistoric lake that once covered much of south-central Idaho.

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