SPRINGLAKE – The Texas Potato Breeding and Variety Development Program field day in the High Plains will be July 12. The program is hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Bruce Barrett Farms near Springlake.
Attendees should assemble at 10 a.m. at Springlake Potato Sales, located 12.5 miles north of Littlefield and 8.5 miles south of Springlake on Texas Highway 385, said Dr. Creighton Miller, AgriLife Research potato breeder in College Station.
Joining Miller for this year’s field day is Dr. Isabel Vales, AgriLife Research potato breeder in College Station.
The tour will move to the variety plots on the Barrett Farm where Miller has more than 170 different potato selections for viewing. He will also provide updates on the program’s newest release, Vanguard Russet.
The original cross of Vanguard Russet was made in 2008 and selected in 2011 near Dalhart, he said. It is early maturing, with a high percentage of attractive, marketable tubers.
“This variety is a high-yielding russet for the fresh and early processing markets,” Miller said. “It has uniform, oblong tubers, with white flesh and medium russet skin.”
Attendees will be able to view side-by-side plantings of each variety to show one row of tubers, which will be dug for viewing at the field day, and a second row for plant canopy observation. A field book will be provided with information for each variety.
Barrett will provide an overview of his current production season, and representatives from various potato seed companies will discuss their products.
There will also be discussions of ongoing research on zebra chip disease, potato fertility practices and soil health, as well as other issues of current interest to the industry, Miller said.