New salad variety on track to achieve 2 million tubers/ha

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A next generation salad potato variety has the potential to become a new market leader. The variety Jacky is on target to produce 2 million tubers per hectare with 65% sized 25-35mm yielding 50tonne/hectare overall.
Paul Coleman revealed the trial data while demonstrating Crop4Sight – an app for managing potato crop yield – during AHDB’s Potato Showcase Week.

“Jacky could be a real game changer,” says Mr Coleman.  “I first saw it as a seedling in some of Greenvale’s trials and realised its potential.”

Jacky is a high-yielding second early. Bred to consistently produce round tubers below 45mm with pale yellow flesh, it’s ideal for the UK’s salad market.  Jacky scores 8 for black dot, 9 for foliar and tuber blight.
“It’s a highly versatile potato,” summarises Archie Gibson, executive director at Agrico – the seed supplier that developed Jacky. “Being robust and very round it rolls nicely on webs and conveyors and doesn’t tend to suffer from harvest damage.”

The AHDB webinar titled ‘Can precision technology help optimise potato crop potential?’, saw Mr Coleman showing how Crop4Sight uses simple crop milestones to give actionable insight and foresight for decision making.

“The discovery trial with Agrico is building the data that will give growers highly accurate management knowledge needed to optimise Jacky’s high performance as soon as it comes to market,” explains Mr Coleman.

“When we initially modelled the variety, we thought we could get 50t/yield with 90% of the crop in the 25-45mm range. And it’s on track; Jacky has hit 45t already with 2.2 m tubers.”

Uniquely the platform shows target stem and tuber populations too. It was this aspect of the platform that revealed how and why Jacky is able to produce such large quantities of small tubers consistently.

“The parameters being measured suggest Jacky has a high tolerance to stem density enabling it to maintain a consistent number of tubers per stem at high populations,” say Mr Gibson.

“Together with its high blight resistance scores which potentially mean fewer sprays, Jacky has a capacity to be a very profitable crop.”

The crop in the trial at Greenvale hasn’t received any preventative sprays for blight. “If replicated in commercial growing situations, this natural resistance could save growers over £400/ha plus man and machinery hours,” notes Mr Gibson.

“With demand outstripping availability of traditional market-leaders e.g. Maris Peer, Jacky is setting a standard that no other variety has got near.”



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