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Get peeling those Bikinis - but not on the beach


The new Bikini variety of potato

The new Bikini variety of potato

The new Bikini variety of potato

The Bikini is set to up the fashion stakes, but not in high street clothing shops.

It's the latest potato variety from the same team that brought the Rooster to international prominence.

Described as a novel red and white skinned first cousin of the Rooster, the first batch of Bikini spuds hit the shelves in Tesco stores over the weekend.

It has been grown by a number of farmers supplying Tesco packer, Country Crest, and has yielded 20t/ac in its first year of commercial growing.

The early maturing potato has shown good resistance to common and powdery scab, and breaks its skin when cooked.

It was developed by Teagasc crop scientist, Denis Griffin in conjunction with Irish Potato Marketing (IPM). Mr Griffin said that a committee came up with the name after prolonged viewing of the unusually coloured potato a few months ago.

The same team has also developed another variety called Infinity, aimed at the lucrative potato crisp market. It will take on Dutch varieties like Lady Rosetta that dominate this sector. Early trials show that Infinity is set to out-yield Lady Rosetta by at least 15pc. It also has excellent resistance to the blackleg disease that affects its Dutch rivals.

Colm McDonnell, research and development manager of the IPM Potato group, told the Farming Independent that Infinity is currently being tested 'across Europe and beyond.

'More and more of the potato crop worldwide is used for processing , so this new variety allows IPM to supply seeds to the global processing sector," he said. Infinity s been trialled by a number of crisp manufacturers here.

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