From 2000 to 2002 a selection of early to mid-early potato varieties for fresh consumption have been assessed within the main trials (7 locations) throughout Switzerland. The experiments were conducted by Agroscope FAL Reckenholz and RAC Changins, the two Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Stations, within the framework of the swisspatat working group for new potato cultivars. For seven varieties results concerning agronomic characteristics and cooking quality are presented. Agata, Lady Christl and Derby have been introduced in the recommended list for potato cultivars in 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. Agata very quickly replaced the very well established early potato varieties Sirtema and Ostara. Agata convinced by high yield, virus resistance to PVY, regular tuber shape, fine skin and good cooking quality. However, the starch content in the tubers was rather low and reducing sugars were very high. Agata was susceptible to late blight and black scurf. This variety now covers more than 50 % of the early potato production area of Switzerland. Lady Christl convinced by an excellent cooking quality due to its flesh firmness. Its regular shaped and fine skinned tubers were very suitable for all potato dishes. This variety proved to be highly resistant to PVY, PLRV and common scab. Internal rust spots and tuber greening were rather often observed. Derby convinced by high yield and its high late blight resistance. The mealy tubers were mainly suitable for mashed potatoes and hash browns. Short dormancy of the tubers strongly reduced their storability. For organic potato production, the low tuber number per plant was beneficial to achieve high marketable yields under nutrient deficient conditions.
New early potato varieties for fresh consumption