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New sweetpotato cultivars to meet market needs

Dennien, S. and Henderson, C. and Langenbaker, R. and Wolfenden, R. and Coleman, E. and Prichard, M. and Zunker, D. and Jess, A. (2016) New sweetpotato cultivars to meet market needs. Acta Horticulturae (1118). pp. 225-232. ISSN 0567-7572

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1118.33

Abstract

The Australian Sweetpotato Growers Association partnered researchers from Agri-Science Queensland (with co-funding from Horticulture Australia Limited) to identify new, high performing sweetpotato cultivars with diverse colours and tastes. The project evaluated a mix of purple, red, orange and white skin and flesh, tailored for Australian growers and consumers. Australia's sweetpotato market currently relies on one gold cultivar for 90% of national production. Major retailers were requesting a reliable supply of quality sweetpotatoes in emerging categories such as red or white skin or purple flesh. To identify suitable cultivars, over 40 new sweetpotato cultivars were virus tested, and extensively evaluated in multiple experiments in Queensland and northern New South Wales. Larger-scale plantings by growers, using standard agronomy, provided additional performance feedback under commercial conditions. In partnership with growers and wholesalers, cultivars were evaluated in field and laboratory for desired characteristics such as shape, size range, skin and flesh colour, estimates of productivity and suitability for commercial production, cooking characteristics and taste. New high performing gold cultivars had better soil insect and nematode tolerance than the current cultivars. The new colours offered diverse health-related opportunities for consumers, more anthocyanins in purple-fleshed cultivars; higher beta carotene content in new gold fleshed cultivars; and potentially lower GI in white-fleshed cultivars. To enhance adoption, the industry/research partnership will tailor agronomic guidelines to maximise on-farm performance and identify niche marketing pathways for each of the cultivars. Increased consumption of this versatile vegetable will drive sweetpotato industry development and expansion into the future.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Horticulture. Horticultural crops
Plant culture > Vegetables
Deposited On:07 Jul 2016 05:00
Last Modified:07 Jul 2016 05:00

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