The famous Idaho potato, Russet Burbank, is known as being large size, white, mealy & delicious. It was developed by Luther Burbank, beginning in 1872 when he planted twenty-three seeds from an Early Rose parent plant. All produced tubers, but one was superior in yield and size. Originally smooth-skinned, the familiar netting is actually a mutant of the Burbank. It is more resistant to blight than the original.
The University of Idaho Research Experiment Station in Aberdeen has provided valuable service in helping the potato industry. First started in 1914, many different problems have been researched and solved there. Experiments have been carried out concerning distance between rows and plants, seed piece sizes, planting and harvesting equipment, storage facilities, diseases, irrigation practices, and research for new varieties.
Advertising and marketing of the Idaho potatoes as a unique and trademarked product became important. The Russet Burbank began to be produced in other parts of the country and was sometimes marketed as Idaho potatoes. A great deal of effort and even some “days in court” resulted in the protection of the Idaho potato trademark.
Many talented and dedicated people at the several agencies that have been involved have lent their energies to the advertising and promotion of Idaho potatoes. With continued success in the market place, the growth of the Idaho potato industry and its promotional programs will only be limited by the quantity of potatoes that can be grown in the Gem State.