Variety Characteristics:
Dakota Pearl is a mid-season multi-purpose variety with a medium-high yield potential. It produces beautiful uniform tubers with bright white skin for the fresh market. Excellent for field-to-storage chip transition and storage chipper until early March. Dakota Pearl is tolerant to black spot bruise and resistant to common scab and has moderate resistance to hollow heart and pink rot.  It is susceptible to PVY. The variety has a medium dormancy and stores well.


Seed Preparation:
Planting physiological young seed is important to avoid high tuber sets. Dakota Pearl can successfully be pre-cut. Optimum cut seed sizes are 50-gram (2 oz) or larger. Follow standard seed cutting practices and it is advisable to use a seed piece treatment.


Dakota Pearl responds best when soil temperatures are at or above 7°C (45°F). Seed  piece depth should be 5-8 cm (2-3") under most conditions in well drained soils. Plant spacing at 30 cm (12"), for commercial and seed production and 28 cm (11”) for seed.


Dakota Pearl requires a rather high rate of Nitrogen, similar to Superior; approximately 165 kg/hectare (150 lb./acre) at planting and supplement foliar feeding during the growing season. Base phosphorous and potassium applications on soil analysis.  Herbicides containing metribuzin (Sencor) can be used; always follow label recommendations for soil type and conditions. Dakota Pearl gives good results on well drained soils. It will emerge quickly and develop a good ground covering foliage. Proper hilling is required to avoid tuber greening.  Dakota Pearl will perform best with a regular supply of moisture to maximize yield.  Dakota Pearl is somewhat susceptible to early dying diseases; to compensate Magnesium application is advised.  The variety is susceptible to late blight, preventative treatments with fungicides are needed. It is suggested to apply two applications of Ridomil, the first when the largest tubers are nickel-sized followed by a second application 10-14 day later, to prevent storage diseases.


Harvest and Storage:
The variety has a determinate growth habit and has not demonstrated problems with vine destruction. Dakota Pearl is not susceptible to internal bruising or to mechanical damage. It will store if properly handled, cured and ventilated. Apply a treatment of the fungicide thiabendazole to control fusarium and silver scurf.  Avoid free moisture in storage and keep potatoes at a consistent temperature. Potatoes in long term storage should be treated with a sprout inhibitor.


The above information is based on production experience in Atlantic Canada.  It is believed to be accurate, but performance may vary under different management or climatic conditions.

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