Snowden: Characteristics

Characteristics | Management Profile | Performance

Snowden tubersEven without an official release by the University of Wisconsin, Snowden has grown rapidly in its popularity in the 1990s. Its first published description was by Peloquin, SP, C Thill and AD Pavlista in the newsletter Nebraska Potato Eyes volume 6 issue 1 in Spring, 1994. This cultivar is designated for the potato chip market. Snowden (W 855) was selected in the late 1970s in Wisconsin from a cross between Wischip and B5141-6, and named in 1990. Selection and early testing was done by Dr. Stan Peloquin and Mr. Donald Kichefski at the UW-Lelah Starks Potato Breeding Farm, Rhinelander, WI. In 1993, 7,230 acres of certified seed were grown nationwide ranking eighth in acreage; a fourth (1730) of this acreage was in Nebraska, second to Wisconsin. It is now a standard in the North Central Regional Trials. It is very much like Atlantic except that it chips out of 45F storage without reconditioning (Table 1).

Summary of Properties:

  • Purpose -- Potato Chips
  • Growth Type -- tends to be indeterminate
  • Maturity -- medium-late (110-120 day after planting), later than Atlantic
  • Emergence -- rapid and uniform
  • Vine -- large erect, medium; closes rows later than Atlantic
  • Leaves -- light green, closed
  • Flowers -- few per cluster, white with yellow anthers; tend to abort; male sterility common, fruit rarely develop
  • Eyes -- medium, deeper at apical end; uniformly distributed
  • Roots -- medium,about 16 inches
  • Tuber -- white flesh; light tan skin, slightly netted skin; round shape slightly flat, uniform; consistently 2.5 to 3.5 inch diameter, tends to undersize resulting in the slightly lower yields compared to Atlantic
  • Set -- high on long stolons; space further apart than Atlantic
  • Dormancy -- medium
  • Yield -- slightly less than or about the same as Atlantic
  • Specific Gravity -- high, slightly less than or about the same as Atlantic
  • Sugar -- about the same as Atlantic out of the field; stores better - lower temperature (45F) and longer (9 months); glucose = 0.1% and SR value = 0.4 to 0.75 (0.5 to 0.6 for Atlantic)
  • Chip Color -- very light out of the field; can store to May at 45F and chip light without reconditioning; chips out of 45F like Atlantic out of 50F
  • Tuber discoloration - none
  • Bruising -- not a problem
  • External Defects -- none; smooth and uniform
  • Internal Defects -- none; tolerant to hollow heart and brown center
  • Disease -- susceptible to early and late blights, and common scab
  • Insect -- attractive to Colorado potato beetle
  • Herbicide Sensitivity -- metribuzin (preliminary data): less sensitive than most chipping cultivars such as Atlantic and Norchip
  • Fertilization -- responds very well to higher levels of nitrogen
  • Irrigation -- responds very well to added moisture
  • Other -- competes well against weeds

Comments: Tables 1 through 6 show that

  • Snowden yields the same or slightly less than Atlantic.
  • Snowden’s specific gravity is the same or slightly less than Atlantic’s.
  • Chip quality from Snowden is better than from Atlantic after longer or cooler storage condition and reconditioning is not required.
  • There may be a slightly lower susceptibility to tuber defects in Snowden compared to Atlantic except for common scab for which their susceptibility is about the same.