Can A&M Engineer a Better Potato?

This year a new spud will be hitting the market, and the research that went into its development isn’t small potatoes.

By Rhonda FanningSeptember 11, 2015 9:02 am

There’s a new potato in the ground in Texas.

Creighton Miller, Professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University has the details about the Reveille Russet. “It’s a new fresh market variety – Russet variety – with a wide adaptability,” Miller says. “Reveille is the first call to action – so it’s a very early maturing variety.”

The potato also gets its name from the Texas A&M Mascot.

So what’s new about this tuber? Miller says not only is it highly adaptable, it also produces a higher percentage of marketable potatoes. “Not all of the potatoes that we harvest from a given field are usable in a fresh market,” Miller says. “We’re talking primarily about baking potatoes or potato salad and not processed french fries.”

Miller says that breeding spuds isn’t without its challenges. “One of the things that presents a problem is that there are so many traits that have to be considered, but a lot of times we’ll focus on the given trait,” he says. “You have to have large populations to command all the characteristics that you have to have to successfully market a variety.”

This particular variety is already on the shelves in a limited quantity. Miller says they’re working on building up the seed first.