Potato Wart Found Again

Published online: Sep 05, 2002
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Inspectors have turned up a second field on Prince Edward Island, Can., with potato wart.

The infected field is considered a “contact” field due to its relation with the initial find of potato wart in PEI in October of 2000. It is located about 10 kilometers from the original site.

The affected land, machinery and equipment were placed under a prohibition of movement and arrangements were made to have machinery and equipment cleaned and disinfected under CFIA supervision.

The CFIA is continuing to investigate the new find in cooperation with the PEI provincial government and the PEI Potato Board.

Following the first discovery, the CFIA and the USDA developed a three-year work plan that includes movement restrictions on fields within a buffer area and associated with the affected one. A series of surveillance activities and a certification process for potatoes from fields determined to be free of potato wart was established.

Fields were inspected last year and all were determined to be free of potato wart. Within another two years, if weather conditions are conducive to wart expression, the vast majority of fields should be declared free of wart.

No impact on trade is expected given the existence of the three-year work plan. The new find was picked up during regular harvest inspections.

Later this year, for the second consecutive year, more than 200 CFIA inspectors will be monitoring fields in PEI and conducting surveillance for the wart.

The potatoes from the affected fields were all intended for processing. None were intended for table stock or seed production. Two loads have been harvested from the affected field and processed.

The CFIA is imposing a buffer area surrounding the affected field and restricting potato and soil movement from the buffer zone and contact fields associated with the new find. No potatoes at risk have been moved off the island.