Exports of Prince Edward Island potatoes to the United States will resume soon, a March 24 news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says.
“As a result of the U.S. and Canada reaching an understanding about the risk of table stock potato imports from PEI, Canada will lift its ban while APHIS plans to publish a federal order outlining additional required mitigations to protect the U.S. potato industry,” the release says.
The USDA has determined fresh potatoes from P.E.I. may resume under specified conditions that will pose little risk of introducing potato wart disease into the U.S., the release notes.
Table stock potatoes must be washed in P.E.I. to remove soil, treated with a sprout inhibitor, and graded to meet the U.S. No 1 standard. Shipments must then be officially inspected by the NPPO of Canada and certified as meeting USDA requirements, the release says.
Since November, potato exports to the U.S. and Puerto Rico from P.E.I. have been halted after potato wart was discovered for the second year in a row on the Island. Potato exports to Puerto Rico were resumed on Feb. 8. Potato wart was detected in a third P.E.I. potato field which was located near the previously detected fields in early March.
A news release from the National Potato Council says the American-based group is dismayed by the decision to resume exports.