GM or conventional? Jonathan Jones of JIC on R4 BBC "Farming Today" asserts that his GM Desiree is the answer.
We already have conventionally bred, LB resistant varieties like Sarpos, so why isn't everyone growing them? The answer is largely that we lack funding to promote our seven Sarpo varieties. Our early introductions, Sarpo Mira and Axona were red skinned, high dry matter potatoes that we were told the industry does not want. But throw a lot of money and a certain red-haired celeb at a similar variety, Rooster (not blight resistant), the industry loves it and sales soar rapidly into the top ten. Anyone got a million to invest?
In the small UK horticulture market we have excellent acceptance with many thousands of growers coming back for more each year.
And the presenter implied that the GM resistance was better than Sarpo resistance. Maybe Jonathan should include Sarpo Mira in his trials as a resistant standard if he doesn't already.