Connect with us

New potato variety

PVMI Working on Potato Varieties.

PVMI Working on Potato Varieties.

I’m Bob Larson. Always working to develop the “perfect” russet, the Potato Variety Management Institute’s main mission is to promote new varieties of potatoes in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and beyond.

PVMI Executive Director Jeanne Debons says it’s what they coordinate from their operation based in Bend, Oregon …

DeBONS … “PVMI is a non-profit that represents the tri-state Potato Research and Breeding Program, and that’s a cooperative effort of Washington State University, the University of Idaho, Oregon State University, and the USDA.”

As for what their goal is at PVMI, Debons says …

DeBONS … “Well, it depends. Really, the Pacific Northwest is aimed towards breeding a better processing russet. That’s the goal. However, when you cross potatoes there are four sets of genes and it means that a lot of different types of potatoes are the offspring.”

Debons says those results vary widely with everything from fresh russets, to colored potatoes, and other specialty potatoes …

DeBONS … “And PVMI exists because the universities really aren’t in the position to do marketing and promotions. So, PVMI is a non-profit that does the marketing and promotions and collects royalties and license fees, but eventually find their way back to the universities.”

Debons says PVMI has been doing this work since 2005.

Tune in tomorrow for more on the Potato Variety Management Institute and who sets the gold standard in russet potatoes.

PVMI Executive Director Jeanne Debons says they’ve got a pretty good track record for meeting the industry’s gold standard …

DEBONS … “It’s been successful and it’s been helped by the fact that a couple of our varieties were accepted by McDonalds, both in North America and in Europe. So, the demand for the varieties are increasing, more acreage, more royalties, more back to the universities.”

Debons says french fries are the most commonly eaten form of potatoes around the world and McDonalds is the largest producer of those …

DEBONS … “McDonalds has the highest standard. They call it the “Golden Fry” or “Mac Fry.” They have, actually, what they call “Golden Tongues” who are trained to look for the characteristics that they’re looking for.”

So, Debons says, everyone else follows suit …

DEBONS … “Their high standard actually trickles down to everyone else. So, if it’s accepted by McDonalds most of the other manufacturers of frozen French fries will accept it as well. That’s why they drive the market.”

Debons says that’s why they’re always looking for better …

DEBONS … “The breeding program is always looking to increase disease resistance, reduce inputs required, and shorten the growing time to get the most out of the potato and the best potato they can for the inputs.”

PVMI also builds trust and working relationships within the industry, and increases communications among them.

part 1
pert 2