PEI Growers ‘To Wing It’

Published online: Apr 15, 2002
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Prince Edward Island, Can., Minister of Agriculture Mitch Murphy said the province will not set any limits on potato virus Y levels on potatoes planted this year.

In an announcement to aid the industry that was hit hard by the potato wart fungus situation last year, Murphy said there would be a 3 percent limit on leafroll virus.

Murphy said the cap on virus Y levels for seed potatoes was removed because they tested higher than expected last year and it was feared there wouldn’t be enough for planting such key varieties as russets, Sheody and Superior.

Murphy told the industry PEI and the industry should work together to get seed varieties below virus levels of 5 percent.

He said this means some growers will have to import seed from off-island. That can be risky, he said, because growers will have to be concerned with bacterial ring rot.

Murphy said that despite prior disputes, PEI needed to keep its communication lines open with Maine and other northeastern growers.