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Which Variety

Consumers prefer high dry matter varieties with red skin. Rooster is the most popular variety in Ireland today.

Since its release in 1991, the area under production has grown to over 40% of the total potato ware area in Ireland today. The success of Rooster is due largely to its excellent taste and cooking quality, as well as its superior agronomic characteristics.

There are a number of important factors to consider when selecting a potato variety for the ware trade.

These include:

  • Yield
  • Eating quality
  • Maturity
  • Keeping quality
  • Disease resistance
  • Seed availability

Yield – High yields are essential to enable producers to make a profit. Variety is a major determinant of yield.

Eating quality – Although quality preferences of consumers are changing most consumers prefer high dry matter potatoes and red skinned varieties.

Maturity – Choose varieties which mature in succession – aim to have harvesting completed by the end of October.

Keeping Quality – Varieties differ in their suitability for prolonged storage. Varieties like Golden Wonder and Rooster store well. Kerr’s Pink is difficult to store.

Disease Resistance – Varieties differ in their resistance to disease. Losses can be reduced or eliminated by being familiar with the disease resistance of the varieties being grown so that adequate control measures can be taken.

Main Crop Varieties for the Home Ware Market

Early Main Crop Record
Late Main Crop Kerr's Pink, Rooster
Very Late Main Crop Golden Wonder

Record is a yellow fleshed early main crop variety with moderate yields. It is subject to internal bruising if harvested in cold condition or handled unproperly. It is susceptible to foliage blight and virus yellow but is resistant to spraying. Good for chips and boiling.

Kerr’s Pink is a red skinned late main crop variety with deep eyes. It is a white fleshed, high dry matter, floury variety used for boiling, baking and home chipping.

It is susceptible to foliar and tuber blight and to common scab. Because of its poor keeping quality it is difficult to store. In some years it may be adversely affected by secondary growth.

Golden Wonder is a very late main crop variety which is slow to sprout and is suitable for prolonged storage. It is susceptible to the main foliage diseases but the tubers are resistant to blight, common scab and gangrene. It is a very high dry matter variety, is very floury to eat and is popular for boiling.

Rooster is a moderately high yielding red skinned and yellow fleshed variety. Rooster is susceptible to foliage blight but tuber blight resistance is fairly good. It has good resistance to common scab and leaf roll virus. It is classed a medium dry potato and is used Mainly for boiling, roasting and baking.

 Cultra has a white skin with pink eyes and a cream flesh. It is probably the most popular home grown white potato in the country. The potato is slightly waxier in texture with a good skin finish. The variety is suitable for baking, boiling steaming and roasting.

 Queens are a second early potato variety and are available from late June to September. Generally Queens begin to replace Home Guard in late June and become the mainstay of the Irish potato market for the summer. The variety has white skin and flesh, an excellent floury texture, beautiful taste and can be used for boiling, steaming, roasting and chipping.

Varieties for salad potato production

There are two main types, round/oval and long oval, but a feature of potatoes for salad production is that they tend to produce large numbers of very uniform tubers.   Another essential feature of salad potatoes is that they are capable of producing tubers with a good skin finish.

Breeders are now focussing their efforts on breeding salad varieties and currently around 25 varieties are available for commercial production. The majority of these are round/oval.  A key feature of which variety is grown is to have a secure market outlet.

Shortlist of varieties





Round/oval varieties

Maris Peer

Second early

White tubers with cream flesh.   The market leader for salad production, mainly as the variety is off patent and seed costs are lower. 



Second early

White tubers with white flesh. Very high tuber numbers and yield. Very good all-round disease resistance

Grampian growers


Second early

White skin with creamy white flesh.  

Greenvale AP


First early

Pale yellow skin and flesh.


Picollo Star

Second early

Creamy skin and flesh. Good all round disease resistance except tuber blight




White skin with creamy white flesh.   Good all round disease resistance

Cygnet PB


First early

Pale yellow skin and flesh.   Reasonable disease resistance




Extremely high tuber numbers.   Very susceptible to TRV spraing

Cygnet PB

Long oval


Second early

Yellow tubers with yellow flesh. The most popular long oval variety for salad production, in part because it is off-label but also because it has good flavour



First early

Cream skin and light yellow flesh.   Very high yielding



Almost all salad varieties have susceptibility to foliage or tuber late blight

Further information on most varieties can be found at the AHDB potato variety database (http://varieties.ahdb.org.uk/)   or on the individual Breeder/Agent website