Kansas City, Missouri 2021-11-28 09:11:04 –
Bangor, Maine (AP) — Researchers at the University of Maine are trying to make potatoes that can withstand the warming temperatures associated with climate change.
Rising temperatures and prolonged growth can lead to quality problems and diseases, said Gregory Porter, a professor of crop ecology and management. Told Bango Daily News..
“Climate change predictions are a more intense rainfall event, and potatoes cannot withstand floods and damp conditions for a long time without having other quality problems,” Porter said. “For continued and successful potato production in Maine, we need to be able to produce change-resistant varieties.”
Research is underway around the world aimed at reducing crop damage. A NASA study published this month suggests that climate change will affect maize and wheat production and may reduce yields in both in 2030.
Maine is out of the banner potato crop, thanks in part to the success of the caribou russet developed by UMaine researchers. But Porter fears that even its varieties are not heat-resistant enough to withstand the future effects of climate change.
Pests are another factor. Jim Dill, an integrated pest management specialist at the University of Maine, said the Colorado potato beetle and the disease-prone aphid prospered as the climate changed.
Propagating seemingly small changes, such as hairy leaves, that make it difficult for insects to move around on plants can reduce the destruction of pests and the need for pesticides, he said.
Growing these properties into potatoes is a long process of cross-pollinating different potato varieties.
The process is going well.
They are currently in the research testing phase at sites throughout the United States. Test potatoes in Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida are testing high temperature stress.
“It requires a selection of 10 years after the first pollination and can take 2-5 years before sufficient commercial evaluation is done to release a new potato variety,” Porter said.
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