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.
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.
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 www.pvmi.org for a full list of seed growers.