Since its release in 1987 by North Dakota St. Univ., Russet Norkotah has replaced Norgold Russet in the fresh market. It has become the major russet potato variety now grown in Nebraska.
Russet Norkotah is an early to medium maturing (95-110 days from planting), determinate potato variety. Some key management characteristics are: medium-sized upright vine resulting in about 85% row closure, poor drought tolerance due to a small root system, and tendency to oversize. It's very susceptible to blights and often to early dying. Care is needed to harvest under cool dry conditions because of its susceptibility to Pythium leak and Erwinia soft rot (and blackleg). Russet Norkotah is also susceptible to silver scurf.
Summary of Plant Characteristics
- Growth Type -- determinate, growth abruptly stops at flowering, hail sensitive with little to no re-growth.
- Maturity -- early to medium
- Emergence -- rapid, sensitive to cold soil at planting.
- Dormancy -- medium, 3-4 months.
- Eyes -- many, well-distributed, shallow.
- Vine -- small-medium, upright.
- Leaves -- open, average-sized, medium green.
- Flowers -- few, small and white.
- Tubers -- oblong to long, well-shaped. (most marketable quality)
- Set -- light to medium (8-12), high on hill. (greens easily with oversizing)
- Yield -- potential for over 400 cwt/acre, slightly better than Norgold Russet under good conditions.(Table 2)
- Gravity -- low to medium (1.075-80).
- Sugars -- medium (fry only out of field).
- Storage -- short-term, market by mid-March.
- Bruising -- dehydrates in storage resulting in blackspot and pressure bruises.
- External Defects -- none (# 1 strength for fresh market)
- Internal Defects -- occasional hollow heart (oversizing)
- Disease Susceptibility -- all common viruses, early dying, black dot, both blights, blackleg/soft rot, dry rot, pink rot, leak, seedpiece decay, silver scurf.
- Disease Resistance -- common scab.
- Insect Attractiveness -- aphids.
- Weed Control -- competes poorly with weeds, herbicide use needed.
- Herbicide Sensitivity -- none, very resistant to metribuzin.
Table 1. Yield and sepcific gravity range in Nebraska as reported by growers.