PEI Growers Lose $50 Million

Published online: Aug 06, 2001
With anger still directed at the United States for the border blockade of Prince Edward Island potatoes, figures show that the Island province suffered an estimated $50 million loss after the six-month quarantine.

For the next three years, every potato field will be tested for potato wart. This is estimated to be 3,000 tubers from each field.

However, Ivan Noonan, director, said the conditions will "be adhered to the letter of the law." He says all we ever wanted was an "agreement based on science."

The new agreement removes the controversial compliance agreement that prevented peelings from being shipped to the United States. That cost processors an estimated $700,000. Also eliminated is the wash and sprout inhibitor treatment. The U.S. says if the potatoes test okay, that is fine.

The action will virtually reopen the border to all tablestock, seed, and process potatoes except for the small zone around the affected field. About 25 fields along with another 100 or so in a buffer zone will still be quarantined.

Canada is working out a compensation plan for those in the affected zone.