If Canadians continue to consume, on average, 1.5 kilograms of sweet potatoes every year, about 4,000 acres are needed to meet this demand. Currently, just a handful of farmers grow sweet potatoes due to a limited window to seed and harvest.
That’s about to change as Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has worked on a new variety in partnership with Louisiana State University. Officially named Radiance and more suited to Canada’s climate, this variety thrives better than standard varieties and is set for growers’ fields in 2019.
"Canadian growers have been typically cultivating Covington, a sweet potato variety commonly grown in the U.S.," said Valerio Primomo, PhD, Vineland's research scientist, vegetable breeding. "But it requires a long growing season - elusive in Canada - to develop its deep orange colour and to avoid chilling injury"
Vineland's new high-yielding Radiance variety is adapted to thrive in Canada's climate, maturing well in a short growing season of 118 to 122 days.
The sweet potato is also preferred by consumers in taste tests over leading varieties. It exhibits a red skin with vibrant orange colour flesh, a trait consumers look for according to researchers at Vineland.
"Colour is the most important attribute in sweet potatoes,” said Amy Bowen, PhD, Vineland's research director, consumer insights. “The majority of consumers are expecting that bright orange, uniform colour.”
Looking to license, propagate, grow or sell Radiance sweet potato variety? Please contact: Amanda Moen, Advisor, Business Development 905-562-0320 x 668 firstname.lastname@example.org