U.S. officials have released a new plan involving methods to deal with pale cyst nematode discovered in 2006 in some southeastern Idaho potato fields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final rule that takes effect at the end of January. It sets out years-long criteria for killing off the pests and reopening quarantined fields to production. Keith Ridler reports for Insurance Journal.
The new rule follows a 2018 court decision in a lawsuit filed by potato farmers that found the U.S. government illegally quarantined some Idaho potato fields infested with the pale cyst nematode first discovered in 2006. Farmers with quarantined fields aren’t allowed to sell potatoes grown in them.
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge in his 2018 decision ruled that the federal government rolled out the quarantine and other restrictions without sufficient public input. But he left the quarantines in place. He said it was bad to violate laws on public input, but lifting the quarantines could lead to bans on Idaho potatoes and U.S. potatoes shipped overseas.
Specifically, Lodge’s order made the rules temporary until U.S. officials redid the process.
Source: Insurance Journal. Full report here.