Potato growers on Canada's Prince Edward Island were required by law to make sure their potatoes were completely killed by Aug. 10 to cut down on the transmission of viruses by aphids.
Ivan Noonan, general manager of the PEI Potato Board, said fields were inspected and growers cooperated in the program.
Noonan explained that potato plants were growing so vigorously it was hard to kill the vines. Some used flailers and others dessicants.
Growers agreed to uphold the province's virus cap in the Plant Health Act of 2001: 5 percent for seed; 10 percent for seed planted for table stock and processing. These levels will be strictly enforced in 2001 as well as a target for fewer than 5 percent for all potatoes planted on PEI in 2002.
Although yields will be down, the Seed Committee believes the strategy will work. There is some speculation that processors may ask for even more stringent caps.
Growers on PEI are receiving about $8 per cwt in the early harvest.