Cultivation/Production, North America, Pests and Diseases

Idaho potato growers prevail in pale cyst nematode case

Related imageA U.S. District Court judge this week ruled the federal government did not follow its own rules and regulations in formulating its pale cyst nematode (PCN) eradication program, which has regulated thousands of acres of farmland in eastern Idaho since the devastating pest was discovered in 2006. While he did not vacate the program, he gave it temporary status. The summary judgment closes a lawsuit — unless it is appealed — filed in April 2015 by a group of potato growers affected by the PCN program, which is centered on the Shelly area south of Idaho Falls. The lawsuit alleges the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service violated administrative law in issuing and implementing the interim rule and final rule. Those rules quarantine infested and associated fields, restrict interstate movement of regulated articles and provide deregulation protocols for quarantined fields. The judge cited the importance of potato crops to Idaho and the significant value of potato crops, potato production and potato exports to both Idaho and the U.S. More

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