May/June 2021
Cultivar Corner: Yukon Gem is a better-yielding, disease-resistant Yukon Gold type

Yukon Gem is a variety similar to Yukon Gold, which was used in the breeding process, but Gem has better yield and size distribution than Gold.


Parentage: Brodick x Yukon Gold

Developer: Northwest Potato Variety Development Program

Plant Variety Protection: PVP issued in 2007.

Strengths: Yukon Gem is a better-yielding, disease-resistant Yukon Gold type.

Morphological Characteristics

Plant: Yukon Gem is a mid-season selection with PVY and late blight resistance.

Tubers: Round-oblong, yellow flesh with higher yield potential than Yukon Gold. Its low to medium tuber set yields an optimal size profile.

Agronomic Characteristics

Maturity: Mid-season maturing.

Tubers: Yukon Gem produces round-oblong tubers with a slightly russet-like yellow skin. Tuber yield and size distribution is better than Yukon Gold.

Yield Potential: High

Specific Gravity: Yukon Gem has a moderately low specific gravity.  

Culinary Quality: Excellent with tubers exhibiting no after-cooking darkening.

Diseases/Physiological Disorders: Yukon Gem is resistant to PVY and late blight, as well as tuber malformation and most internal and external defects.

Incentives for Production: Resistance to diseases make Yukon Gem an excellent organic alternative for fresh, fry and chip production. 


Fertility: In Idaho, a total of 240 pounds of nitrogen (N) per acre gave the best U.S. No. 1 yield response with a 500 cwt/acre yield. Yukon Gem requires about 10% less nitrogen fertilizer than Russet Burbank per unit of yield produced. Excessive N can lower and quality and prolong maturation. Higher N can also lower specific gravity. Metribuzin resistance for Yukon Gem is good at normal application rates.

Planting: Cut seed to 2.5- to 3-ounce size. Optimal plant spacing for commercial production on 36-inch rows in Southeast Idaho is 8 to 10 inches; 11- to 13-inch seed piece spacing should be used for an increased proportion of large tubers. Plant 5 to 6 inches deep.

Storage: Store just as you would Yukon Gold. 

Seed Production and Availability: Check for a full list of seed growers.

More varieties from Cultivar Corner

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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