Rindert Dankert, Selection Company Kooi, Leeuwarden: ‘Our focus for many years has been on breeding early varieties.’
‘Our focus for many years has been on breeding early varieties and we’re still sticking to that. That is also the power of Kooij. Important aspects are the time and the degree of maturing. It’s difficult, for example, to breed in the right moment at which the foliage starts to die off. In many early varieties, maturation starts too early so that high yields are no longer possible. Another difficult aspect in breeding is to combine early maturity with proper hardening off of the skin. Breeders don’t always include this last factor sufficiently in their assessment, often resulting in disappointments later. At the moment, the early French-fry varieties are the most in demand and all the breeders are looking first and foremost at the Première. One of the areas where manufacturers want improvement is a better shape and better distribution of the dry matter content in the tubers. And that’s what we’re also looking at in our breeding work. We currently have a promising number, Fob 2012-136-067, from the Fobek breeding station. All in all, this is an early dual-purpose variety. You can get a lot of high-quality French fries from it and the variety can also be used as a table potato for fresh consumption. The extra qualities of this variety compared, for example, to the Première is its better dry matter distribution, its bigger size and, at the same time, long-oval shape, its beautifully-smooth strong skin and its more yellowy flesh colour.