University of Florida Potato Variety Trials Spotlight: 'Red LaSoda'1

Mario H. M. L. Andrade, Lincoln Zotarelli, Rodrick Z. Mwatuwa, Christian T. Christensen, Doug Gergela, and Chad M. Hutchinson 2

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 'Red LaSoda' cultivated in Florida.

General Comments

'Red LaSoda' is a red-skinned fresh-market potato standard for Florida. 'Red LaSoda' was first observed in 1949 as a deep red mutant of LaSoda, a progeny of Triumph and Katahdin, in the Louisiana potato breeding program. 'Red LaSoda' was released by the USDA and the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station in 1953 (Webb and Miller 1954). Production and quality results provided here are summarized from various fresh-market trials conducted by the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center from 1998 to 2019.

General Characteristics

'Red LaSoda' plants have a spreading growth habit with high early vigor that gives them a competitive advantage over many weed species. Tubers have a red and slightly netted skin with white flesh (Figure 1) according to Florida's rating codes for potato tuber characteristics (Table 1). The tubers are uniform with round to oblong tuber shape and deep eye depth. The variety has good yield potential and is adapted to Florida growing conditions (Tables 2 and 3). The variety demonstrated similar marketable yield and good tuber characteristics compared to the commercial standard 'LaChipper' (Table 2). On average, 86% of the tubers produced in tuber size distribution classes A1 to A3.

Figure 1. Typical tuber skin and internal flesh color of 'Red LaSoda'.
Figure 1.  Typical tuber skin and internal flesh color of 'Red LaSoda'.
Credit: C. Hutchinson, UF/IFAS

Diseases

'Red LaSoda' is susceptible to scab, early blight (Alternaria solani), late blight (Phytophthora infestans), corky ring spot, and bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearu). In all trials, the variety showed slight susceptibility of 1% to hollow heart (Table 3). The UF/IFAS Extension recommended disease and weed control program is described under Potato Production (Chapter 14 of the Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida, https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cv131).

Season Length and Growth

'Red LaSoda' performs as early- to midseason-maturing variety under Florida growing conditions. Season lengths range from 81 to 115 days from planting to harvesting with an average season length of 95 days, depending on growing conditions during the season. The plants should be harvested two to three 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 in order to harvest tubers with desirable marketable size. Soil moisture should be managed late in the season to avoid enlarged lenticels and delayed skin set.

Fertilization

University of Florida trial plots are normally fertilized with 200 to 230 lb/acre N. The first application of 100 lb/acre 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, depending on the soil test results.

Planting

A seed piece of 2½ 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. Closer in-row spacing will reduce harvested tuber size. A seed rate of 2,000 to 3,000 lb/acre seed is expected.

Other Information

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.

References

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 northFlorida." HortTechnology 13 (4): 706–711. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH.13.4.0706

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

The Potato Association of America. n.d. "Red LaSoda (Solanum tuberosum)." https://www.potatoassociation.org/varieties/red-rounds-potato-varieties/red-la-soda-solanum-tuberosum/. Accessed 24 April 2020.

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.

Webb, R. E., and J. C. Miller. 1954. "Red La Soda—A Mutation of La Soda." American Potato Journal 31 (2): 40–43. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02859986

Zotarelli, L., P. J. 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

Tables

Table 1. 

Florida rating codes for potato vine maturity at harvest and tuber characteristics.

Tuber Characteristics1

Rating Code

Vine Maturity

Internal Flesh Color

Skin Color

Skin Texture

Tuber Shape

Eye Depth

Overall Tuber Appearance

1

dead

white

purple

partial russet

round

very deep

very poor

2

+ -

cream

red

heavy russet

mostly round

+-

+-

3

yellow and dying

light yellow

pink

moderate russet

round to oblong

deep

poor

4

+ -

medium yellow

dark brown

light russet

mostly oblong

+-

+-

5

moderately senesced

dark yellow

brown

netted

oblong

intermediate

fair

6

+ -

pink

tan

slightly netted

oblong to long

+-

+-

7

starting to senesce

red

buff

moderately smooth

mostly long

shallow

good

8

+ -

blue

white

smooth

long

+-

+-

9

green and vigorous

purple

cream

very smooth

cylindrical

very shallow

Excellent

1 Adapted from Hutchinson et al. (2003) and Sisson and Porter (2002).

Table 2. 

Summary of production statistics and specific gravity of 'Red LaSoda' potato variety grown at the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, Hastings, FL from 1998 to 2019.

Year

Total Yield

Marketable Yield1

% of

STD

 

Size Class (Distribution by Class %)2

Range %

Specific Gravity

Standard

C

B

A1

A2

A3

A4

A1 to

A3

Culls

1998

469

352

101

LAC

0

24

23

35

18

0

75

22

1.058

1999

396

329

106

LAC

0

17

64

18

1

0

83

13

1.053

2001

305

279

109

LAC

0

3

42

42

13

0

97

6

1.064

2002

401

363

100

LAC

0

2

40

51

6

1

96

6

1.062

2003

523

374

99

LAC

9

7

38

30

16

0

84

15

1.059

2004

409

337

110

LAC

7

5

53

27

8

0

88

7

1.066

2005

334

303

123

LAC

1

6

63

26

5

0

93

3

1.065

2006

421

385

112

LAC

1

5

68

27

0

0

95

3

1.058

2007

447

388

129

LAC

1

8

64

16

11

0

91

4

1.058

2008

341

272

117

LAC

2

11

56

25

7

0

88

8

1.061

2009

359

279

99

LAC

2

8

69

11

11

0

90

14

1.058

2010

311

232

152

LAC

2

8

89

1

0

0

90

17

1.052

2011

418

301

106

LAC

3

13

55

17

12

0

84

14

1.055

2012

199

48

23

LAC

5

33

41

11

10

0

62

64

1.054

2013

210

176

70

LAC

8

3

61

13

16

0

90

8

1.058

2014

250

163

114

LAC

5

25

70

0

0

0

70

7

1.060

2015

332

258

77

LAC

4

10

67

11

9

0

87

12

1.046

2016

129

70

57

LAC

3

20

71

2

4

0

77

34

1.056

2017

227

142

n.a.

-

5

12

69

5

9

0

83

22

1.057

2018

233

197

n.a.

-

3

9

77

8

3

0

88

4

1.059

2019

344

299

n.a.

-

3

4

38

51

4

0

93

7

1.064

Average

336

264

100

 

3

11

58

20

8

0

86

14

1.058

1 Marketable yield: Sum of size classes A1 to A3.

2 Size classes: C = 0.5 to 1.5 inches, B = 1.5 to 1 7/8 inches, A1 = 1 7/8 to 2.5 inches, A2 = 2.5 to 3.25 inches, A3 = 3.25 to 4 inches, A4 >4 inches; Size distribution by class: Class (wt)/(Total Yield [wt]—culls [wt]) * classification = <1 7/8 inches (C and B included in this classification)

n.a. not available

Table 3. 

Tuber characteristics and internal tuber defects of 'Red LaSoda' potato variety grown at the UF/IFAS Hastings Agricultural Extension Center, Hastings, FL from 1998 to 2019.

Year

Tuber Characteristics1

Internal Defects2

Internal Flesh Color

Skin Color

Skin Texture

Tuber Shape

Eye

Depth

Overall Tuber Appearance

HH

BR

CRS

IHN

1998

0

2

8

2

3

6

0

0

0

0

1999

0

2

7

3

3

4

1

0

0

0

2001

2

3

7

3

5

4

0

0

0

0

2002

1

3

7

3

4

5

0

0

5

3

2003

1

2

7

3

4

5

1

0

0

0

2004

1

2

7

3

4

6

2

0

0

0

2005

2

2

7

3

4

6

2

0

0

0

2006

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

2007

1

2

7

3

3

6

0

0

0

0

2008

2

3

7

2

6

5

0

0

0

3

2009

1

2

7

4

3

6

0

0

0

0

2010

1

2

7

3

3

6

0

0

0

0

2011

1

3

7

3

3

5

1

0

0

0

2012

1

2

7

3

3

6

0

0

0

0

2013

1

2

7

3

3

6

0

0

0

0

2014

1

2

7

3

3

7

0

0

0

0

2015

2

2

8

3

7

6

1

0

0

0

2016

1

1

5

1

4

7

1

0

1

0

2017

1

3

8

5

6

7

0

0

1

0

2018

1

2

8

3

7

8

1

0

0

0

2019

1

2

9

3

5

6

1

0

0

0

Average

1

2

7

3

4

6

1

0

0

0

¹See rating system outlined in Florida Rating Code Table (Table 1).

²Percent tuber defects. HH = hollow heart, BR = brown rot, CRS = corky ring spot, IHN = internal heat necrosis.

Footnotes

1. This document is HS1078, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date July 2006. Revised December 2009, August 2013, December 2016, and April 2020. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Mario H. M. L. Andrade, research scholar; Lincoln Zotarelli, assistant professor, Horticultural Sciences Department; Rodrick Z. Mwatuwa, former graduate student, Horticultural Sciences Department; Christian T. Christensen, regional specialized agent II, director, Hastings Agricultural Extension Center; Doug Gergela, research coordinator, Florida Partnership for Water, Agriculture & Community Sustainability at Hastings; and Chad M. Hutchinson, former associate professor Horticultural Sciences Department; David Dinkins, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.