There are several potato varieties available in the market today. Most of them have been bred or developed in production regions other than Florida. The University of Florida Potato Variety Evaluation Program screens new germplasm from public and private breeding programs and identifies the most promising cultivars for commercial potential considering broad adaptability to Florida climate and conditions and market purpose: processing, fresh-market and specialty-type varieties. Over the years, the UF/IFAS Potato Variety Program has become an important reference to vegetable growers, seed producers, processors, crop insurance agencies, and brokers looking for alternative potato varieties to explore different markets, improved characteristics, and yield. This UF/Potato Variety Trials Spotlight presents a summary of the field evaluation of tuber yield and quality performance of the potato variety 'Fabula' cultivated in Florida.
'Fabula' is a potato variety that is commonly grown for the fresh potato market. The variety was selected from progeny of a cross between 'Monalisa' and 'Hudson'. It was released in 2005 by D. Biedmond B.V. of the HZPC in the Netherlands. 'Fabula' demonstrates good tuber characteristics and high yield superior to its commercial standard, 'LaChipper'. Tuber production and quality results provided in this spotlight are summarized from various trials conducted by the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center from 2001 to 2016, excluding 2009.
'Fabula' tubers have a buff skin color with a slightly netted texture and creamy flesh color (Figure 1). According to Florida rating codes for potato tuber characteristics (Table 1), the tubers have a fair/good appearance with mostly oblong shape and eyes that are unevenly distributed with intermediate/shallow depth (Table 3). The variety has medium to long dormancy (time required for sprout emergence). This variety has high yield potential under Florida production conditions (Tables 2 and 3). On average, marketable yield is 265 cwt/acre, approximately 11% greater than the commercial standard 'LaChipper', with 91% of the tubers found between A1 and A3 tuber size classifications.
On average, 'Fabula' demonstrates no incidence of hollow heart, brown rot, corky ringspot, or internal heat necrosis under Florida conditions (Table 3). It is immune to potato wart (Synchytrium endobioticum [race 1]), resistant to golden nematode (Globodera rostochiensis), and exhibits moderate resistance to leaf roll virus, potato virus Y, common scab (Streptomyces scabies), and tuber late blight (Phytophthora infestans). It is moderately susceptible to potato virus X and foliage late blight. The standard UF/IFAS Extension recommended disease and weed control program described under Potato Production (Chapter 14 of the Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv131) should be followed.
Season Length and Growth
'Fabula' is a medium-to-late-maturing variety. Under Florida conditions, the season length is 95 days on average from planting to harvesting. This depends on weather conditions during the growing season. The plants should be harvested two weeks after vine kill to improve tuber maturation and skin set. Potatoes with proper skin set maintain better skin color, lose less weight in storage, and are more resistant to bruising and soft rot. For more information about vine killing on potatoes, see Potato Vine Killing or Desiccation (Zotarelli et al. 2016). Late in the season, tuber size should be checked regularly to harvest tubers with desirable marketable size. Soil moisture should be managed late in the season to avoid high soil moisture conditions that cause enlarged lenticels and delayed skin set.
UF/IFAS trial plots are normally fertilized with 200 to 230 lb/ac of N. The first application of 100 lb/ac of N (granular) is typically incorporated in the bed prior to planting, followed by one or two side-dress fertilizer applications at emergence and/or at tuber initiation. Phosphorus and potassium applications follow the UF/IFAS guidelines described in Liu et al. (2020) and normally range between 45 to 100 lb/ac of P2O5 and 170 to 235 lb/ac of K2O.
A seed piece of 2.5 to 3 oz is recommended for planting. This variety should be planted with 40 inches between rows and 8 inches between plants, at 3 to 4 inches deep. A seed rate of 2,000 to 3,000 lb/acre of seed is expected.
For additional information on cultivation and weed and disease management, see the Potato Production chapter of the Vegetable Production Handbook, available at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv131.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency. n.d. "Fabula." https://www.inspection.gc.ca/DAM/DAM-plants-vegetaux/STAGING/text-texte/pota_vari_fabula_1312587515433_fra.pdf. Accessed April 11, 2020.
Hutchinson, C. M., J. M. White, D. M. Gergela, P. A. Solano, K. G. Haynes, R. Wenrich, and C. S. Lippi. 2003. "Performance of chip processing potato varieties in northeastern Florida." HortTechnology 13 (4): 706–711.
Liu, G., E. H. Simonne, K. T. Morgan, G. J. Hochmuth, S. Agehara, and R. Mylavarapu. 2020. Chapter 2. Fertilizer Management for Vegetable Production in Florida. Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida, 2020–2021 Edition. CV296. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv296
Sisson, J. A., and G. A. Porter. 2002. "Performance evaluations of potato clones and varieties in the northeastern states—1999." Maine Agr. For. Expt. Sta., Misc. Publ. 751.
Zotarelli, L., J. P. Dittmar, P. D. Roberts, J. Desaeger, and B. Wells. 2020. Chapter 14. Potato Production. Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida, 2020–2021 Edition. HS733. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv131
Zotarelli, L., S. Sargent, P. Dittmar, and M. Makani. 2016. Potato Vine Killing or Desiccation. HS181. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs181
Florida's rating codes for potato vine maturity and tuber characteristics.
Summary of production statistics and specific gravity of 'Fabula' potato variety grown at the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, Hastings, FL from 2001 to 2016, excluding 2009.
Vine maturity, tuber characteristics, and internal tuber defects of 'Fabula' potato variety grown at the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, Hastings, FL from 2001 to 2016, excluding 2009.