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Canada: Former seed farm manager suggest government, industry find means to keep program

A former manager of the P.E.I. Elite Seed Potato Farm says he’s been hearing there have been no outbreaks of bacterial ring rot in Prince Edward Island potatoes in five years. “That’s a good news story,” says Allan Parker who managed the seed farm until 1997 and is still involved in the potato industry internationally. But, to Parker, the good news story is tempered by the provincial government’s decision to discontinue its potato disinfection services by year’s end. He suggests it’s time for industry and government to take a step back and consider how best to protect the industry, not just from bacterial ring rot but also new strains of old bacterial diseases that have re-emerged in Europe in recent years. “If they ever got a foothold in North America they would be extremely problematic for any seed production area,” he warned. More

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