Canadians consume on average 1.5 kilograms of sweet potatoes every year and about 4,000 acres are needed to meet this demand.
In partnership with Louisiana State University,Vineland has been testing varieties of sweet potato suited to Canada's climate. One variety has come out on top 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 avoid chilling injury."
Vineland's new high-yielding 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.”
Source : Vineland Research and Innovation Centre