Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia  (Read 3133 times)

Chris Morrison

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #135 on: 2020-05-16, 12:02:54 AM »
The clunkers would be ideal for chipping/processing, imho.
SP Fries are showing strong growth vs french fries, for obvious reasons.
All about yield per plant for process cropping, so I would not ditch a plant doing 4~5kg at 2 x 2~2.5kg clunkers
Thoughts?

whwoz

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #136 on: 2020-05-18, 12:42:22 AM »
Chris, agree with you in principal about the clunkers being good for processing, however the problem with clunkers is that they are not a standard size and more particularly shape.  In a commercial processing operation where everything is machine cut, it is not possible to have a machine that can needs to be adjusted for every root that is different in size and shape,  then there is the problem of peeling roots that spiral around where one does not want peel preventing use in soup or puree.

I have summerised my season to date below:

Orange ex Bunnnings:  Beauregard is what I thought that these were, but they appear to be a bit redder than last year so they may be Evangeline, need to define the differences more in my head to be sure.
Either way the nine plants were very productive, between 2 and 5.5 kg per plant roughly. Have not weighed all the roots, but based on approx. 3 kg per plant, yield  = 27kg or around 59lb.  Have just spent some more time on web, it would appear that Evangline has reddish new growth, Beaugread green. If that holds true I have Evangline.

Purple Skin white Flesh ex Bunnings: These are probably Northern Star.  Produced roots upto 1kg est.  Best yield around 4 kg, to be checked by weighing.

Purple ex Bunnings:  Yet to be dug.  Suspect these to be Okinawa or similiar based on leaf

From Steve1
Purple:  Small plant approx. 1 meter long, may well have been smothered by others around it.  No roots

Okinawa:  these have the same growth as the purple from Bunnings, and maybe the same variety.  Growth up to 1.75m long, no roots

Red garnet:  Another that may have been a bit smothered, only small plant to 1m long.  Two small roots, should be enough for slips, but not for eating.

Kumera: Stems long - 3m or there abouts.  Only fine stems approximately 5mm in diameter.  3 or 4 small roots, lucky to 1 kg in total.

Blackie:  The ornamental variety, lots of developing buds and sign of spent flowers, but no sign of seed pods, Only 0.75m stems but long leaf petioles so still easily seen.  No roots.

Wanmun:  Beast of a plant.  Runners 3m plus, 12 to 15 mm thick.  Long roots with no real storage roots developed.  Roots thickened in places.

Northern Star, White fleshed, Purple shinned roots, best to around 1 kg est.  Went in later than that from the B store so not as many roots as PSWF above but otherwise similar all round.

American White:  Two roots of similar size, roughly 250mm long by 50mm diameter at thickest.  White Skinned, white fleshed. Tops to 2 m.

Solomon:  Thin runners to 2 m, only a few very thin roots that were not worth keeping even for slips just too thin, would shrivel up to next to nothing.

Japanese :  Two types here as suspected by steve1 after earlier comments.  One typical Northern Star roots, so treated as such as it was considered the likely mix up partner, the other was a white Skinned, white fleshed root to 300 mm long and 60mm thick.  Stems about 2.5m long.

Not sure why so many from Steve failed to make roots, other than they went in later than those from the B store and I suspect that some may need longer season than was provided this year

All of these have had at least 7 cuttings taken, with most floating on the dam.  Ran out of room in float setup so a few under hard, clear cover until I can get another float set up built.  The following links were some I came across while trying to sort out the B vs E situation and may prove useful to some.

https://jhawkins54.typepad.com/files/effect-of-cultivar-selection-spacing-on-sweet-potato-production-nair.pdf
https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2916&context=farms_reports
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sweet_potato_cultivars
https://simplifygardening.com/sweet-potato-slips/
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/sweet-potato/sweet-potato-varieties.htm
Added 18/5/20

« Last Edit: 2020-05-19, 02:26:44 AM by whwoz »

Chris Morrison

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #137 on: 2020-05-18, 01:43:44 AM »
Great summary there whwoz.
Re Clunkers: If you look at the last pic I posted on the NZ page here, the clunker on the scales and the 2 behind it, are all my mutant 'EFR' which, 2nd year in, presents large (1kg+), mainly uniform roots, in my conditions. Richard got a lesser sized result, but still similar uniformity. These would be as simple as spuds to process imho. They also appear to have very few 'eyes'. They are incredible sweet to eat, and yet firm. Possibly too sweet for fries, as sugar burns? Anyways, having been involved with process veg previously, I agree with all your points, but reckon we could breed an 'ezy peel' clunker - I certainly won't be tossing them.

whwoz

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #138 on: 2020-05-19, 01:46:21 AM »
Chris, Clunkers like those you pictured could well have machinery adapted for them, agreed.  Some of those that are not so regular, which is more what I was thinking about, would be difficult, particularly curly ones.

Further to the SP report above,  dug all the purples from Bunnings today, some nice roots under them, but all between 300 and 500mm or 12 to 20 inches away from plant stem.  Lots spiked with the fork unfortunately.  If I grow this one again, it will be in a pot I can tip to empty to find the roots, be much easier than trying to dig them at double fork depth.
« Last Edit: 2020-05-19, 02:25:46 AM by whwoz »

Chris Morrison

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #139 on: 2020-05-19, 03:45:02 AM »
Yes Okinawan did this to me, this year. Thought there was nowt, but in fact a good crop 'deep and wide'. Hopeless really, most fork damaged and many probably remain unharvested! Shame as they are a great eater. Pots only for those from now on. And they did not flower, except for very early in the piece.

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #140 on: 2020-05-19, 07:56:27 AM »
I have those big cattle feed tubs that I cut good sized drain holes in. One time I couldn't lift one to dump it out, dug out a lot of the dirt still couldn't lift it. Finally it let go with a audible snapping sound. In the bottom was about 2 pounds of sweet potato, under it was the other 2 pounds of the same sweet potato. It had grown through the drain hole and anchored the pot to the ground. The top of it was a foot or more deep inside the tub. I strongly select against those kind but that one bloomed and seeded a lot so I'm sure I'll see that again. 

I don't think that growing in pots will help to contain the roots or eliminate the clunkers if a plant is prone to making them. They will just grow off the root under the pot or shatter the pot.  I've also seen large roots that did stay in the pot but lifted their tops and the vines up out of it.

Growing in pots though is a good way to identify those that have my preferred "clump root" habit, several nice sized roots directly under the main stem and not very deep. 
« Last Edit: 2020-05-19, 08:01:54 AM by reed »

whwoz

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Australia
« Reply #141 on: 2020-05-19, 10:20:56 AM »
I have a number of 33 liter (8,7 US gallon) tubs that I can drill holes in the bottom of for growing those varieties that spread there roots out.  Like you Reed, I do not think there is any real advantage in using that sort of root development genetics in a breeding program, but then I need to get them to flower first!  Thinking more of controlling where the roots spread so that one does not ruin half the crop digging it.  Will be locating the holey tubs on concrete blocks and 8x2 sleepers so that the roots will be well clear of the ground and will harvest simply by tipping them out.  Have put feelers out to see if I can get confirmation of varieties of purchased plants.