Development of Potato Varieties in Latvia

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The first potato varieties that reached the territory of Latvia were empirically selected clones from genetically diverse material brought from South America to Europe. In the 19th century, when agricultural production rapidly developed, the demand for high yielding potato varieties suitable to local growing conditions increased. Therefore, potato variety evaluation trials were set up. Scientifically- based potato breeding in Latvia was launched by P. Knappe. The potato breeding programme in Priekuïi Plant Breeding Station was started in 1931, and has still continued. Several breeding methods were used by potato breeders Ç. Knape, V. Gaujers, G. Bebre and others in Priekuïi. Potato breeding for short periods was carried out in several other places in Latvia: Stende, Carnikava, and Lejaskurzeme. The method of elimination of diseases in potato seed material and high quality seed material production was implemented in Priekuïi. More than 60 potato varieties have been created in Latvia, some of them were and still are in demand in agricultural production.

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