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-Sub-Iropical Experiment Station
Mimeographed Report No. 1 January, 1937
University of Florida
SUB-TROPICAL EXPERIMENT STATION
PRELD4IMNARY RHLPCRT OF POTATO VARIETY TESTS AT THE SUBIPROPICAL EXPERIMENT STATION
FROM 1933-34 ThRO13H 1935-36
By W. M. Fifield
The rapid influx of Northern Farmers into the potato growing areas of South
Florida has brought with it a desire on the part of the local growers to know
whether common Northern potato varieties can be produced commercially in this sec-
tion. Coindicental with this demand has been the recent development by government-
al agencies of several new potato varieties of considerable promise, In order to
meet the demand for more accurate knowledge concerning the behavior of standard
varieties in comparison with Bliss Triumph, which at the present time is grown al-
most exclusively in this section, and to test some of the new varieties, a series
of potato variety tests was started or the East Glade farm of the Sub-Tropical Ex-
periment Station in the fall of 1933. These tests have not yet boon completed.
The report that follows summarizes results of tests extending over three seasons.
Seed tubers for the variety tests were secured from several different
states, namely, North Dakota, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Georgia. Many organ-
izations and individual growers in those states cooperated with the local Station
in furnishing the seed. The new U. S. D. A. seedlings and several standard varieties'
were secured direct from Aroostook Farm at Prosque Isle, Maine, with the cooperation
of the Bureau of Plant Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Each year the potatoes under test were planted, cultivated and fertilized
uniformly throughout, Plots were of adequate size to yield reliable data and were
thoroughly replicated. The tubers were dug by hand and carefully graded according
to U. S..standard grades.
The data have been summarized from each season and are presented in Tables
1, 2 and 3.
It will be noted that in each table the varietal name is followed in paren-
thesis by the name of the state in which the seed was grown. There was no attempt
made to determine which state was best as a source of seed for the Homestead area.
This would have required an enormously larger set of plots. The different sources
were used merely to indicate to a limited degree the extent of variation which might
be encountered from different sources and in different seasons with the same variety
Table i. Average yields, in bushels per acre of the varieties
comprising the 1933-34 potato variety tests.
Variety No. i No. 2 No. 3 Culls Total
Warba (Minnesota) 278 21 5 8 312
Bliss Triumph (Wisconsin) 236 16 3 44 299
S.41914 (Maine) 216 25 4 59 304
Bliss Triumph (North Dakota) 215 35 8 11 270
Green Mountain (Maine) 152 32 7 15 206
Chippewa (Maine) i5i i6 4 4 175
Irish Cobbler (Minnesota 148 i5 3 35 201
Katahdin (Minnesota) i4i i7 4 ii 173
Early Ohio (Minnesota) i28 128
- 2 -
Table 2. Average yields, in bushels per acre, of the varieties
comprising the 1934-35 potato variety tests.
Table 3. Average yields, in bushels per acreo of the
comprising the 1935-36 potato variety tcsts.
i No 2 T 3 Culls other Rot Total
No. i No. 2 No. 3 than rot R"o Total
85 (North Dakota)
" -- --I- ~
1- III~LI------------ _~___~ --I_ -
- 3 -
The data are arranged for each test in the order of yield No. i tubers.
It is quite apparent that the order of yield of No. I tubers does not always
parallel the order of total yield. Since No. 2 tubers are also usually sold on
the market at fairly good prices, it probably is not fair to judge the relative
differences of two varieties by the yield of No. i tubers alone, but as a single
measure of productiveness this grade gives a better indication than does the
The best yielding varieties in 1933-34 were Warba, Bliss Triumph and Seed-
ling 41914. The Wisconsin Triumphs outyielded those from North Dakota. The
Early Ohio tubers were all so small or badly misshapen that no attempt was made
to grade them.
The best yielding varieties in 1934-35 were Bliss Triumph (Dakota),
Chippewa (Dakota), Warba, and Seedling 44639. It will be noted in Table 2 that
Irish Cobblers and Bliss Triumphs from Georgia were included in the test, but made
a very poor showing. This failure should not be attributed entirely to source of
seed, because the conditions under which the seed was stored before planting
caused considerable deterioration. This season was very unfavorable from a vari-
ety test standpoint, as the yields indicate. A severe freeze occurred when the
plants were about 4 weeks old, killing all vines back to the ground. Recovery
from this injury undoubtedly affected some varieties differently than others.
The best yielding varieties in 1935-36 were Warba, Bliss Triumph, Irish
Cobbler (Maine and Georgia), Chippewa and Seedling 41914.
The data of these three tables indicate that thus far Warba is the only
variety which has consistently equalled or surpassed Bliss Triumph in yield.
Seedling 41914 has also made a good showing, but both it and the Warba have
varietal characteristics of shape which place some doubt on their commercial
value. The Warba is an irregularly-shaped, white potato with pink eyes. Seed-
ling 41914 is entirely white with tubers also irregularly shaped, although per-
haps not as deep-eyed as Warba.
The data of Tables 2 and 3 indicate that the Chippewa shows some promise
as a white potato in this area. It produces tubers of excellent shape, with
very shallow eyes, and has yielded well the last two years. Commission men
report that it sells very well in certain markets.
It is interesting to compare the yields of each variety from different
sources and in different seasons. In 1934-35 the Georgia seed was a failure,
but in 1935-36 it proved very good, especially in total yield. All three tables
show that Green Mountain and Katahdin have not yielded well. The Cobbler yielded
fairly well from some sources in 1935-36 but not previously. Spaulding Rose did
poorly both years it was grown.
Attention should be called to the fact that Seedling 44639, grown'in
1934-35, was named "Houma" later, and appears as such in 1935-36. It did not
repeat its favorable performance the second year.
With the possible exception of S.41914 and Houma, none of the seedlings
performed well from the yield standpoint. It is possible that with further de-
velopment they might show promise, since several of them exhibit excellent
quality and some show resistance to certain virus diseases.
The variety tests are being continued in 1936-37, with some expansion from
the source-of-seed standpoint. The results should assist materially in ironing
out some of the irregularities appearing in the data thus far obtained,