The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided $249,600 to the University of Maine in Orono for research into potato breeding and variety development for improved quality and pest resistance for the New England region.
"Our potato farmers need plant varieties that fit the growing conditions here," said Michaud. "While this year's potato crop faces some challenges, I'm hopeful this research will help lead to future solutions. A strong potato industry is critical to Aroostook County and our state's economy as a whole, and I'm pleased that the USDA is making this investment."
According to the USDA, this project will work to develop conventional and specialty-type table-stock and chip-stock processing potato plants to address the unique variety development needs of the New England region. It will also help potato breeders design regional breeding and selection strategies to more efficiently develop plant varieties for wide geographic areas and contribute to the development of a more economically and ecologically sustainable potato production system in the New England region.