The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has found potato wart in two fields on a farm in Prince Edward Island, a post on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ website, says on Nov. 27.
Potato wart is a regulated quarantine pest in Canada, the post notes. It reduces the yield of potatoes and makes infected potatoes unmarketable.
The CFIA has placed the fields under quarantine and is carrying out official control measures under the federal Plant Protection Act and Plant Protection Regulation, the post says. These measures include surveillance, controlling the movement of equipment, tubers, plant material and soil, and cleaning and disinfecting machinery to prevent spread of the pest.
The CFIA has halted all seed potato exports to the United States, according to the National Potato Council (NPC). The NPC also says that have been told there has been no seed from the infected area shipped to the U.S. in the last four years.
“We are in communication with APHIS regarding CFIA’s ongoing survey work to comprehensively determine the level of threat within Canada and are also urging CFIA to prohibit all domestic seed shipments out of P.E.I. to prevent spread within Canada until they can confirm no other farms have been jeopardized,” Kam Quarles, NPC CEO, says in a statement.
The CFIA is working in collaboration with the P.E.I. government and the P.E.I. potato industry to control the pest. In 2000, the Potato Wart Domestic Long-Term Management Plan was established after an initial finding of potato wart in P.E.I. that year.