Snowden management profiles


Characteristics | Management Profile | Tables

Snowden gained rapid popularity due to its reducing sugars, glucose, remaining low for extended storage (over six months) and at lower temperatures (45-50F) while having high yields, high starch content and uniform round shape. Its major weakness is its tendency to undersize which results in lower yields. Its favor has declined a little in recent years as it was learned that its ability to store long and at lower temperatures is associated with smaller tubers. There is little in the literature about practices for Snowden and it has not been officially released yet.


Since Snowden is less susceptible to soft rot, dry rot and bruising than Atlantic, normal seed handling precautions should be observed. Eyes are uniformly distributed making it easier to cut uniform pieces about two ounces. No performance difference have been reported between cut and whole pieces.


Medium plant spacing is recommended, about 12 inches due to heavy set and to reduce under-sizing of tubers (Tables 7 and 8). Pieces should be planted deep, about six inches, again due to heavy set. Emergence is rapid and uniform. Snowden shows good performance in both alkaline and acid soils.

Irrigation Management

Snowden is to be grown only under irrigation. It should be irrigated much like Atlantic, every two to two and a half days at maximum evapotranspiration (ET). Late-season high irrigation can lower specific gravity, increase hollow heart and sometimes increase susceptibility to internal brown spot (IBS). Good mid-season irrigation scheduling is important to suppress common scab on tubers.

Fertilization Management

Nitrogen requirement is higher than for Atlantic, about 200 lb N/acre (Tables 7 and 8). Snowden responds well to high nitrogen levels. At this time, there isn’t much information on nitrogen application sequences nor on petiole nitrate-nitrogen levels for Snowden. Growers’ reporting on their experience suggest fertilization is similar to that of Atlantic. Phosphorus should be in the range of 40 to 80 lb P/acre (100-180 lb P2O5/a) and potassium should be in the range of 0 to 50 lb K/acre (0-60 lb K2O/a). Both the same as for Atlantic. Due to its susceptibility to common scab, the addition of ammonium sulfate, 200-400 lb AS/acre, at planting is recommended.

Tuber Quality Note

The best chipping tubers, those with the desired storage characteristics, are the under-sized tubers. Using cultural practices to increase the proportion of tubers for storage will also lower yields due to smaller tubers. Therefore, the length of storing Snowden should be determined prior to planting since this will effect even seed spacing.

Vine Desiccation and Harvest

Vine kill is required to stop indeterminate growth tendency when expressed, and for adequate skin set which takes three weeks to achieve. Snowden desiccates easily, much like Atlantic. Snowden should be desiccated between 80 and 100 days after emergence (about 60 to 80 days after planting). Usually tubers show little if any bruising but this is correlated with tubers size; larger tubers bruise more easily than smaller ones.


Snowden can be stored at 45F until May after a Sept-Oct harvest. This is its major commercial advantage for potato chip production. Stored tubers can be chipped without reconditioning; another reason for its popularity. Otherwise, Snowden can be stored much like Atlantic. Sprout inhibition is needed if stored past three months. CIPC’s use is common for this.

Key Management Points for Snowden

vine maturity

110-120 days after planting

disease susceptibility

blights, common scab


sensitive to metribuzin


medium dormancy, tend to undersize


uniformly distributed eyes

planting (processing)

12 inch spacing, 6 inches deep


200 lb/acre

petiole nitrate

not known


>70% available soil moisture to flower drop


necessary, prefer chemically to avoid bruising


long term, as low as 45F, avoid sprouting and stress, not need