Cultivation/Production, North America, Pests and Diseases

Judge: US illegally quarantined some Idaho potato fields infested with PCN

Related imageA federal judge ruled that the U.S. government illegally quarantined some Idaho potato fields infested with pale cyst nematode (PCN), a microscopic pest that could threaten the state’s $1.2 billion potato industry, but he left the restrictions in place. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge said last week that lifting the rules could lead to quarantines across a state that produces a third of the nation’s potatoes and is a major global supplier. It would likely “have significant immediate and long-term consequences to both the state of Idaho as well as the United States as a whole,” he wrote. The judge decided that the federal government rolled out the quarantine and other restrictions without sufficient public input. Lodge’s order, which came in a 2015 lawsuit from farmers, makes the rules temporary until U.S. officials redo the process. “I’m looking for an improved result,” said Bill Myers, an attorney representing the farmers. He declined to say whether that meant removing the quarantines. More

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