Everyone loves potatoes; they are the third-most-consumed food crop in the world after rice and wheat. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized the importance of the Pacific Northwest in the production and processing of potatoes and supported the establishment of a regional potato research breeding program with OSU and universities in Idaho and Washington.
So far, the tri-state program has released more than 30 new varieties of spuds that resist pests and diseases, have higher yields, are more nutritious, and handle processing better. Nearly all potato varieties released by the tri-state program since 2005 require 10 to 50 percent less nitrogen fertilizer to produce yields similar to Russet Burbank. Among the world’s russets, chippers, red skins, long whites, and fingerlings, tri-state’s Umatilla Russet is one of only four potato varieties served by the world’s largest fast food chain of restaurants