Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Production/Agronomy, Trends

CPB alert: Jersey under threat of invasion by Colorado potato beetle pest, govt warns

Weather conditions for the next four days could enable an invasive insect with the potential to wipe out Jersey’s potato industry to reach the Island’s shores, the Environment Department has warned. The Colorado potato beetle is not established in the Island or the UK but it is prevalent in Normandy, which at its closest point is just 14 miles from Jersey. If it ever got a foothold here it would devastate the Jersey Royal potato crop, which is worth about £30 million per year. Just one fertilised female Colorado beetle can establish a breeding colony with the potential to destroy a field of potatoes by eating the stems and leaves. It is also partial to other crops including tomatoes, salad produce and parsley, which are all grown in the Island. Scott Meadows, head of plant health at Environment, said the current local weather conditions, combined with strong easterly winds and high levels of beetle flight over the nearby Normandy coast are putting the Island under threat. Read more

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