The Tetonia Research and Extension Center produces all of the seed potatoes made available to Northwest growers through the Idaho Foundation Seed Program. The USDA ARS-UI potato breeding program also relies on Tetonia for testing new potato lines and for growing potato seed used in Tri-State and Western regional potato trials.
Between 3,000 and 7,000 promising new potato lines from the USDA ARS-UI potato breeding program at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center are tested at Tetonia each year. Between 3,000 and 4,000 single hill breeding potato clones (first field generation) and 100 to 575 second field year breeding clones are tested at Tetonia each year in search of clones suitable for Tri-State and Western regional trials.
As the potato industry takes an interest in particular new potato lines, the need arises for the production of minitubers that can then produce certified seed potatoes for use in commercial evaluations. The University of Idaho produces a large majority of these minitubers, and about 66% of the university’s production is at Tetonia. Tetonia also produces seed for trials that produce storage and management recommendations for new varieties.
Idaho Foundation Seed Program
In 1949, the University of Idaho directed Tetonia toward the production of foundation seed for the entire state. From foundation seed, which is just one generation away from the crop breeder’s original section, Idaho growers can produce seed that is certified to be free of diseases or other problems likely to reduce crop yields. Potato and small-grain farmers who invest in certified seed are more likely to produce healthy, high-yielding crops. Crop varieties grown here annually for foundation seed include:
- Wheat 5–8 varieties
- Barley 5–6 varieties
- Oats 4–5 varieties
- Potatoes 20–30 varieties
Learn more about the Idaho Foundation Seed Program.
Visit the UI Potato website to learn more about potato research and education.