Potato crops do not perform well in high temperatures, according to a new research paper, and that could be a problem as the weather warms with climate change.
Om Rajora, one of the authors of the study, said they tested 55 different varieties, or cultivars, of potatoes, including russet Burbank, a workhorse of the potato industry. The study was published earlier this month in Canadian Science Publishing’s Botany journal.
None of the cultivars performed very well. The plants actually grew bigger in the heat, but the key factor for farmers — tuber production — fell dramatically.
“The plants increased their chlorophyll content overall, but potato tuber yield decreased by 93 per cent,” said Rajora, who is a professor at the University of New Brunswick.